Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

DPS warns victims of tag agency thefts, two arrested

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EDMOND, Okla.- If you have visited a metro tag agency recently, authorities say your personal information could be in the hands of crooks.

Officials say four tag agencies were broken into and the equipment used to make driver's licenses and store your personal information was stolen.

Gerald Davidson, with the Department of Public Safety, said, "They are supposed to safeguard our property and that information. In these instances here, the tag agencies who were burglarized were not following those rules."

Officials say the tag agencies did not remove the "clam shell" and lock it in a safe place at the end of each business day and did not destroy all used color print ribbon.

Authorities say used ribbon can contain personal information of countless Oklahomans.

The first tag agency hit was in Edmond, where police say Richard Traver and William Donavan took driver's license making equipment.

Jenny Monroe, with the Edmond Police Department, said, "It's the format. It's the software. Everything you need to print out a driver's license. Now that it's all computerized, it's all housed in that one piece of equipment and so that was what they were going after."

Authorities have also tied the pair to three other agencies in Yukon, Newcastle and south Oklahoma City.

The Department of Public Safety sent out a letter to more than 1,000 victims, warning them of what happened.

Fortunately, they do not believe anyone else's information was compromised.

Davidson said, "To this date, we don't know of any of those individuals whose information was compromised, if they've been a victim of identity theft in any way."

David Slane, a local attorney, said, "They need to tighten security at some of these places. Some of these places are on mom and pop corners and, I'm not shooting at them, but there needs to be burglar alarms, burglary systems, surveillance. There needs to be all kinds of things to protect that sensitive stuff."

Davidson said, "The bottom line is they did not safeguard our property and the information of the citizens the way they should have been doing."

Authorities say this is an ongoing investigation that involves the FBI.

The stolen equipment has been recovered and administrative action has been taken against some of those tag agencies.

Victims who contacted DPS were given new ID cards or licenses with new numbers.

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