A $25,000 reward was offered today in the theft in February of computers containing the personal information of almost 340,000 Los Angeles County patients, more than twice as many as were originally reported.
The theft took place Feb. 5 at the Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, Inc., which provides contracted services to the Los Angeles County departments of Heath Services and Public Health, county officials said.
Sutherland -- which is offering the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the thefts as well as the return of the eight stolen HP Pro 3400 computer towers -- immediately notified law enforcement and subsequently notified the county of the data breach, authorities said.
Sutherland on Feb. 25 confirmed to the county that the personal information of about 168,500 patients was stolen from its office, but today the county Department of Auditor-Controller announced that the company on March 27 provided updated information indicating about 170,000 newly identified individuals also had their personal information breached.
The stolen data includes first and last names, Social Security numbers, medical and billing information and possibly dates of birth, addresses and diagnoses, officials said.
Sutherland on March 6 began notifying individual patients that their information was compromised and offered them free credit monitoring and advice on how to protect themselves from potential identity fraud, according to the auditor-controller's office.
The company will start sending letters to the newly identified patients beginning Friday, officials said.
Anyone who wants to know if their personal information was compromised can call Sutherland toll free at (877) 868-9284.
Torrance police have released video images of a suspect in the case.
Anyone with information about the theft was urged to contact the Torrance police detective handling the case at (310) 618-2374.
--City News Service