The theft of thousands of personal documents at the Chesterfield Township and Warren Secretary of State branches may put numerous customers at risk for identity fraud.
Requesting a formal criminal investigation by Michigan State Police into the matter, the Michigan Department of State also notified potentially affected customers by mail recently of the security breach.
The precautionary measure from the state aims to alert customers of stolen driver's license applications and state identification applications at the North Macomb PLUS Office, 51305 Gratiot and the Southwest Macomb PLUS Office at 28220 Dequindre Road.
Last week, the state department announced 13,966 documents missing. The documents dating back to 2009 were secured in locked areas of the branches that were not for public use.
"We want whoever did this prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Tracy Ward, Michigan Department of State spokesperson, has stated in a news release.
Customers who receive the letter will get information on fraud and identity theft as well as the number to a special information line for them to call for more details.
"We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers and will do everything in our power to assist them now and in the future," Ward said. "We have also taken steps to enhance both our document processing and security systems."
Department officials said they have also instituted other changes, such as:
- Changes in document retention policies.
- Expanded use of microfilming and document shredding.
- An upcoming review of security procedures by the Michigan State Police.
- Expanded security camera use throughout the branch system.
Some of the stolen documents contained Social Security numbers, which the Secretary of State's office said it is required to collect under state and federal law. The documents did not include credit card or financial account information, according to the department.
For more information on contacting the department, click here.