Breaking news, tons of birth certificate missing

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Subject: Breaking news, tons of birth certificate missing
  More than 1,000 blank documents -- including birth, marriage and death certificates -- were stolen from the Victoria vital statistics office by sophisticated criminals specifically looking for the documents commonly used to create new identities.

Such documents could be used for anything from creating false accounts to human smuggling to terrorism, Victoria police said Thursday, and could have international implications.

While police don´t want to give the thieves any ideas, they admit the imagination is the only limit as to how the stolen documents could be put to illegal use.

"We have to keep open minds to any possible uses," said Victoria police acting Insp. Les Sylven.

"Human smuggling. We could even look to the potential of some type of terrorist organization, but realistically, more likely this has got to do with commercial criminals who are conducting more regular type of crime, such as frauds. That´s more realistically what this is."

An undisclosed number of thieves broke into the B.C. Vital Statistics Agency at 818 Fort St. about 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Police were on the scene within 10 minutes, to find that one cabinet housing the blank documents had been targeted. Missing were more than 1,000 blank documents.

Police suspect the blank documents were the purpose of the break-in and say there is no evidence of other documents or equipment being stolen. There was security at the building, Sylven said, including video cameras. Police are not disclosing what was captured on tape.

How the thieves knew just what cabinet to hit is also under investigation.

"Based on the amount of time it took, they knew exactly what they were doing," Sylven said.

A theft was attempted at a Vancouver vital statistics office the same morning, but was unsuccessful, police said.

Health Minister George Abbott said security will be reviewed, although it´s premature to make any conclusions about it until the police investigation is complete. "We want to ensure these materials are retained with the utmost security."

Birth certificates are so-called "foundation documents" for identity theft and fraud, because they can be used to obtain other forms of identification.

Vital Statistics notified the passport offices, the Canadian border services, the RCMP and the B.C. motor vehicles branch after the break-in. As well, other federal departments such as the social insurance registry and employment insurance have also been notified.

"Vital stats took the right steps right away," Sylven said.

Victoria police have the serial numbers of all the stolen documents and urge any business or agency with concerns about documents to call and check the numbers with them at 995-7654. The numbers are also on the national police computer. They also urge businesses to ask for photo identification.


[16-09-2005,15:08]
[**.66.36.59]
departure bay
(in reply to: Breaking news, tons of birth certificate missing)
I think terrorist wanna do something in Canada! this sounds like movie or reality show.
[16-09-2005,15:10]
[**.66.36.59]
departure bay
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