OAKLAND — Thieves broke into the Oakland school district's human resources offices late Tuesday night and stole 10 computers containing Social Security numbers and other personal information of an estimated 100 new hires, school district officials reported Wednesday.

Police believe the burglary took place about 11 p.m.; it was reported about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when employees began to arrive, said district spokesman Troy Flint.

The thieves appear to have climbed onto the roof in the rear of the building, cut the wire outside the windows and entered without triggering the alarm system, Flint said.

The desktop computers were swiped from the cubicles in the center of the office. Employee information such as names, addresses and Social Security numbers is usually kept on a district server, safe from computer theft, but some of it was temporarily being stored on the stolen computers' hard drives, Flint said.

Flint said witnesses saw the break-in, and that the district's police force was investigating leads.

"Obviously, anytime something like this happens, it calls for a review of the security policies," Flint said. He added, "It's not as if precautions aren't in place, but there's only so much you can do when people are determined to accomplish an objective."

The school district police are working with federal and city authorities to solve the crime, Flint said.


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The district is also sending notices to all the new employees whose information may have been compromised so they can take precautionary measures against identity theft.

Reach Katy Murphy at 510-208-6424 or kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read her Oakland schools blog and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/education.