By Jennifer Barker
A laptop with customers' personal information including names,
addresses, social security numbers and bank account numbers was stolen
from Butte Community Bank sometime in October.
A notice form the bank dated Oct. 24 was sent to customers whose
personal information was believed to be on the laptop. The notice states
the laptop was stolen earlier that month. Customers including The Post,
did not receive notification until the first week in November. According
to the notice the data on the stolen laptop was protected by a password
intended to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the private
The circumstances of the theft suggested the thief was interested only
in the laptop and not the bank's information, according to the bank's
notice. A concerned customer and Post employee Katie Stecher said she
received the notice this weekend. She called the bank with concerns
regarding the safety of her account.
She said a customer service representative of the bank, told her the
laptop was stolen from an employee who travels to each branch. The bank
doesn't allow employees to take computers with personal banking
information out of the building. The bank did not say which branch the
employee was working from or where he was traveling to when the laptop
was stolen. The employee who was responsible for the laptop was held
accountable, according to the bank representative.
The bank notice said it is possible that a computer hacker could get
past the security system that was intended to protect the information on
the computer. If that happened it is possible the personal information
may be misused.
Stecher said she asked the bank representative if she should be worried,
the representative replied on a scale from one to 10 it would be two,
though she suggested monitoring accounts for the next year. The
representative said the bank will assume liability for any missing funds
reported to the bank within a month of discovering they're missing.
Community member Brian Alexander called The Post with concerns regarding
his bank account.
He called the bank and they told him they would take on liability for
any problems resulting from the stolen information. Alexander said he
would feel more confident if that statement was in writing. The bank
notice didn't guarantee the bank would take responsibility for loss of
funds. The Post called the bank to get further information on the
President Keith Robbins' receptionist at the Chico Ad-ministration
Center said Robbins had no comment and suggested to tell any concerned
citizens to call the bank's toll-free number at (866)488-8588 if they
have any questions. Strecher said she was told by the bank
representative the bank has received calls from many concerned community
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