The New York Daily News cited police sources on Friday to report that a laptop was stolen from a Secret Service agent in Brooklyn on Thursday. The computer reportedly contains “floor plans for Trump Tower, information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation and other national security information.”
The NYDN describes authorities as “frantic” and “scrambling like mad” to recover the laptop. Other items stolen from the agent have been recovered, including a bag emblazoned with the Secret Service logo, which would suggest the thief knows he is holding a very important piece of hardware. The agent is said to have told investigators there is data on the laptop that “could compromise national security.”
“The thief also took ‘sensitive’ documents and the agent’s access keycard, though the level of the agent’s access wasn’t immediately clear,” the New York Daily News adds.
WABC reports the agent’s car was “parked in the Bath Beach section” when the crime occurred. The New York Daily News specifies that the agent is female, and the car was parked in “the driveway of her home.”
Security camera footage of the theft is described as showing an individual wearing a backpack arriving in a car, possibly an Uber-style rented ride, and leaving with the pilfered items on foot – a scenario that implies a disturbing level of advanced preparation. However, the Secret Service told Fox News “they don’t believe the laptop was stolen by a foreign power, and the incident is being investigated as a ‘street crime.'”
WABC’s news team reports it was told “the laptop is encrypted and information cannot be accessed by someone who is not authorized.” ABC’s national news bureau adds a claim that “authorities are able to wipe the hard drive remotely if needed.”
Sources told NBC News “the laptop requires a keycode to access, and two unsuccessful attempts to log in will destroy the device’s memory.” NBC also spoke to a senior law enforcement official who said the report by the
NBC also spoke to a senior law enforcement official who said the report by the New York Daily News was not entirely accurate, and the laptop does not actually have the sensitive data about Trump Tower, national security, and the Clinton email investigation in its local storage; rather, it has the ability to “access such data remotely from Secret Service servers, but only if it was logged into properly.”
“The U.S. Secret Service can confirm that an employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our Agency issued laptop computer was stolen. An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered,” said a statement from the USSS quoted by Fox News.