thieves like cake and laptops
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The Associated Press
Posted: 04/06/2010 08:31:15 AM PDT

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.—More than 5,000 patients in the John Muir hospital system have been warned of a potential security breach after two laptop computers that contained personal and health information were stolen.

The laptops were stolen from a perinatal office in Walnut Creek in February. The 5,450 potentially affected patients were sent letters Monday. Hospital officials say there have been no reports that patient information has been accessed.

John Muir Health vice president and privacy officer, Hala Helm, says the laptops were password-protected and contained data in a format that would not be readily accessible.

Officials have arranged free identity theft protection for a year and recommend people place a fraud alert on their credit files.

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Information from: Contra Costa Times