Law enforcement officers choose that career knowing of its inherent risks. But now a new, and unanticipated work-related threat faces the officers of the New York Police Department. It’s identity theft, and the perpetrator is one of their own.
Anthony Bonelli, an employee within the NYPD’s pension fund, was arrested this week and accused of stealing eight tapes which stored the names, Social Security numbers, bank account direct-deposit information for 80,000 NYPD officers.
Bonelli made comments at work last week that raised suspicions. NYPD to sent technology specialists to the undisclosed Staten Island site where the tapes were stored to investigate further. They discovered that the facility’s security cameras had been disabled on Feb. 21 and the back-up tapes were gone.
Bonelli, 46, had 17 years of tenure with the police department and served most recently as the pension fund’s communications director. He did not have authority to access the site.
Officers arrested Bonelli at his home Saturday and found the missing tapes there. He’s been charged with computer trespass, burglary and grand larceny, and is being held on $2 million bail.
The NYPD’s pension fund office is sending out letters today to the 80,000 officers who now face an elevated risk of identity theft.
This isn’t the first time NYPD’s officers have been the target of identity thieves. Jaquaja Price, a housing police officer, was arrested for stealing the personal information of 10 NYPD officers and passing them along to Radio Shack employee Candace Johnson-Davis. Johnson-Davis used the information to open credit accounts at the store and purchased high-end electronics.