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Suspected thief arrested

Source: Times-Herald Online
Date: November 28, 2003

computer crime CONCORD - Edward Krastof allegedly broke into a Concord business earlier this month and stole three computers, a simple painting and a small alarm clock.

That could explain his awe and bewilderment Tuesday when Secret Service agents, a regional cybercrime task force and police investigators armed with search warrants descended on his home and workplace.
The 38-year-old Home Depot clerk was arrested on suspicion of stealing computers that contained account information for thousands of Wells Fargo customers.

"He was a little overwhelmed at first,'' said Concord police Sgt. Stephen White. "Then he confessed.''
The equipment was taken around Nov. 1 from the Clayton Road office of a Wells Fargo consultant working with line-of-credit customer information, according to Chris Hammond, a bank spokesman.

"We've recovered all the information and there's no indication of misuse,'' Hammond said.
Investigators said Krastof had no idea what he was taking and who he would be dealing with.

"It was a crime of opportunity,'' White said. "He had no clue what was on those hard drives.''
The names and numbers in the two desktops and one laptop computer drove authorities to call in federal agents.

A break in the case came in recent days when Krastof plugged one of the computers into a wall socket and turned it on.
"He logged onto an (America Online) account that was registered on that computer and we traced it back to his phone number and address,'' White said.

Around 7 p.m. Tuesday, authorities knocked on the door of the Flamingo Drive home where Krastof lived with his girlfriend and her children.
She denied any knowledge of the alleged crimes.

The arrest at Home Depot on Meridian Park Boulevard came about half an hour later and Krastof was taken to jail, where he remains on $125,000 bond.

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