Laptop, USB drives stolen from elections warehouse in Philadelphia

Thursday, October 1, 2020
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after someone broke into an election machine warehouse and stole an employee's laptop and USB drives. The equipment belongs to an employee who works for the company that supplies the voting machines to the city.

The theft happened Tuesday night at the warehouse on the 3500 block of Scotts Lane in the city's East Falls section.

Officials say the stolen laptop did not have any election materials on it, and isn't capable of programming election machines. The USB drives are encrypted and contain multiple levels of security.

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Nick Custodio, the deputy commissioner for Chairwoman Lisa Deeley, who oversees elections in the city, said in statement that the laptop has security features to prevent unauthorized access and the user account has been disabled.

Upon learning of the theft, the employee's corporate network user account was changed and the device address was blocked and passwords were changed, added officials.

"Since being informed of the incident, I immediately committed to making necessary police resources available to investigate this incident and find the perpetrators. I have also committed to the City Commissioners additional resources to provide enhanced security at the warehouse going forward," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "This matter should not deter Philadelphians from voting, nor from having confidence in the security of this election."

Anyone with any information on the theft is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.
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