LAWRENCE — Drivers doing business at the Wilmington branch of the state Registry of Motor Vehicles on Monday and last Friday may be vulnerable to identity theft because of the documents stolen Wednesday from a state courier truck parked outside the local RMV office in the Stadium Plaza on Route 114.
Two masked men stole several bags containing various records that included registration transactions, duplicate titles, crash reports, citation payments, rebate requests and municipal parking and excise releases done at the Wilmington RMV over a two-day period.
"The RMV will be contacting customers directly whose information may have been compromised by this incident," MassDOT Press Secretary Sara Lavoie said yesterday.
"Personal customer information is contained in the types of paperwork stolen. The records included names, dates of birth, addresses and license numbers. The types of paperwork stolen do not include the social security numbers of Massachusetts residents," she said.
Fewer than 1,000 registry customers may have been affected by the thefts, according to Lavoie.
"The fortunate thing of this very unfortunate situation is the fact that we can zero in on who was affected by where the documents were coming from. We definitely will be reaching out to protect these customers and we apologize for any inconvenience," she said.
License plates were not among the items stolen, as previously reported by police, according to Lavoie.
The registry is encouraging customers who are concerned that their information may have been impacted to place a fraud alert on their credit by contacting one of the three national credit reporting agencies at the following numbers: Equifax 1-800-525-6285; Experian 1-800-397-3742; or TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. Placing an alert is free, and it stays in effect for ninety days. Concerned customers may also contact the RMV at 617-351-4500 or at email@example.com.
Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said yesterday that he briefed Registrar Rachel Kaprielian about the ongoing police investigation into the thefts.
He said the green Jeep Cherokee that was reported stolen from Framingham a few hours before the thefts and used by the suspected thieves was returned to its owner. State police found the vehicle abandoned on Gilbert Street, near the Lawrence/Andover line, very close to Interstate 495.
"We think there was another car involved which they used when they ditched the stolen jeep," Romero said.
"It's pretty clear to us that the courier vehicle was targeted. My sense is that the thieves knew the courier's routine, whether they were tailing him or waiting for him. We're pursuing a couple of leads," the chief said.
Mark Vogler may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org