Las Vegas police are investigating the theft of confidential files maintained by the State Bar of Nevada.
Eighteen files containing personal information of State Bar applicants were stolen in March from a storage facility on West Charleston Boulevard near the bar’s offices, Executive Director Kimberly Farmer said.
Farmer said police told her that the State Bar was not targeted by identity thieves and that the theft of its files was part of a larger group of thefts of documents in the valley.
A half-dozen of the bar’s files, along with other unrelated stolen documents, were discovered in the possession of a man detectives arrested, Farmer said.
The applicants, who took the bar exam in 2010 and 2011, have been notified that they could become victims of identity theft and that all of the roughly 200 banker’s boxes containing the sensitive files were removed from the storage unit to a safer place, Farmer said.
The files contain social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and other guarded personal information.
The State Bar, which regulates lawyers, is cooperating with the police investigation, conducted by the Financial Crimes Bureau, Farmer said.
Detectives involved in the investigation could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
On Monday, Farmer posted a letter on the bar’s website disclosing the security breach. The letter was sent earlier this month to the people whose files were stolen.
“I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you,” Farmer says in the letter. “Because we understand that a situation like this creates stress and anxiety about the safety of your personal information, the State Bar is offering one year of free credit monitoring.”
Farmer said in an interview that there were no visible signs of a break-in at the storage facility and the theft appeared to be random. The facility was not torn apart.
“It looks like it was real quick,” she said.
The bar had been storing the files of applicants who had taken the bar exam from 2008 to 2011, Farmer said.
Roughly 550 law graduates take the exam each year, she said.