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Computer theft “biggest in Ghent’s history”

Police in Ghent have started an investigation after the theft of 310 laptop computers and tablets from the ICT department of the City of Ghent. Investigators believe the size and focus of the theft suggests the thieves were well aware how they needed to set to work.

Burglars struck at the ICT department on Friday night.  Alderman Sofie Bracke explains this is the biggest burglary the City of Ghent has ever experienced.  The equipment was behind lock and key.  The burglars broke open three locks and forced in the doors to gain access.

The city authorities suggest the booty won’t be of much use to the thieves.  The computers are either locked or can be localised the minute they go online.

Police are examining CCTV footage in the hope of identifying the burglars.  The size of the loot suggests great preparation and it must also have taken an awful long time to move all the equipment out. 

The City of Ghent currently leases the Bellevue premises where the break-in happened and will move to its own dedicated IT office next year.  The authorities will now be looking at how security can be enhanced. 

Most of the equipment was used by schools and the city authorities hope it can be replaced by the start of the new schoolyear. The stolen laptops don’t contain any data that would be useful to the thieves.

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