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Burglars hit landmark Ventura Boulevard office building

Burglars hit landmark Ventura Boulevard office building
Burglars hit landmark Ventura Boulevard office building,0,7638865.story 

By Alan Zarembo and Cara Mia DiMassa
Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2009

In a bold, systematic hit on a landmark Ventura Boulevard office 
building, burglars stole scores of computers from at least 60 of the 80 
businesses there, taking machines containing sensitive legal documents, 
credit card numbers and the tax information of thousands of people, 
police said Saturday.

The overnight theft at the Chateau Office Building in Woodland Hills 
left accountants, a talent agent, property management companies, 
attorneys and other businesses in the three-story structure scrambling 
to assess their losses as police scoured the premises.

Deputy Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said that 
computers, some files and other items were taken from the 60 businesses. 
The theft was discovered Saturday morning.

"It is unusual for the number of businesses hit and the scale," he said 
of the crime.

Several business owners said they were taken aback by the brazenness of 
the theft, which deprived them of their computers but left behind other 
valuable equipment, including monitors, faxes, copiers and printers. 
Several concluded that the thieves' target must have been the 
information contained on their hard drives, not property.

One businessman said the credit card numbers of 7,000 clients were 
stolen. Accountant Richard Levy said his stolen computer held the tax 
documents of 800 clients. Attorney Marshall Bitkower said only three 
computers were taken from his office, but "they had all kinds of stuff. 
Everything: people's names, credit cards, clients, e-mails back and 
forth -- who knows what."


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