Posted by News Express | 18 March 2017 | 1,860 times
A brazen thief in New York City stole a Secret Service agent’s laptop computer that reportedly contained Trump Tower’s floor plans, information about the Hillary Clinton email probe and national security information.
The theft from the agent’s car in Brooklyn occurred Thursday morning, according to the New York Daily News, which cited police sources in a story published Friday.
The car was parked in the driveway of the agent’s home. In addition to the laptop, other reportedly “sensitive” documents and an access keycard belonging to the agent were stolen, the Daily News reported.
The agent told investigators the information on the computer could compromise national security.
“It’s a very big deal,” a police source told the newspaper, which noted that the Secret Service – whose responsibilities include protecting President Donald Trump and his family – is heavily involved in the investigation.
“There’s data on there that’s highly sensitive,” the source said. “They’re scrambling like mad.”
The Daily News story said that information on the stolen laptop includes evacuation protocols and floor plans of Trump Tower, which contains the Manhattan residence of President Donald Trump, and the place where his wife Melania and their son Barron still live full-time.
But the Secret Service, in a statement confirming the laptop theft that was issued after the News posted its story, said agency-issued “laptops contain multiple levels of security including full disk encryption and are not permitted to contain classified information.”
The case came to light a day after it was revealed that the Secret Service is investigating allegations that two of its agents assigned to protect one of Trump's grandsons took selfie photographs with the eight-year-old boy as he slept.
And on March 10, a 26-year-old man was arrested after jumping the fence at the White House and getting close to the White House itself, while carrying two cans of Mace and a letter to Trump he had written.
CNN reported on Friday that the man, Jonathan Tran, was on the White House grounds for 15 minutes, and possibly more, before he was spotted and detained by a Secret Service office.
The Daily News reported that the laptop thief, who may have gotten to the agent’s home in an Uber, was seen on surveillance video walking away from the agent’s car with a backpack.
Items including coins and a bag carrying a Secret Service insignia were later recovered. But the laptop remains missing.
When contacted by CNBC, the New York Police Department referred questions about the case to the Secret Service.
“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,” the agency said, before noting the multiple levels of security and encryption in its laptops, as well as their lack of classified information.
“An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered,” the agency said. “The Secret Service requests anyone with information regarding this crime to please contact the New York Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service New York Field Office.”
The agency is also probing claims that last week two agents assigned to protect Donald Trump III began taking selfies with him as they drove him from Westchester County, New York, to Manhattan.
The president’s grandson “woke up and, as the source framed it, ‘freaked out’,” according to a story about the probe published Thursday by Mother Jones.com.
“Upon return to Manhattan, he shared the experience with his mother, Vanessa Trump, who relayed her concerns to his father, Donald Trump Jr.,” Mother Jones’ story said. “The issue was quickly escalated to top management of the Secret Service. The two agents were ordered to report to the Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility in Washington, DC.”
A source told Mother Jones that the agents do not face a criminal probe, but instead questions about whether they abandoned their post while protecting the boy.
A Secret Service spokesman emailed a statement to CNBC on Friday when asked about that probe.
“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of a matter involving two of our agents and one of our protectees,” the agency said. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will always thoroughly review a matter to determine the facts and to ensure proper, long-standing protocols and procedures are followed.”
“The Secret Service would caution individuals to not jump to conclusions that may grossly mischaracterise the matter,” the statement said. “Secret Service Agents around the country are dedicated to protecting those under their charge.” (CNBC)
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