Laptop stolen from Rochester Salvation Army

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Rochester Salvation Army has a big job. Their food shelf serves about 250 to 300 families a month, so they need to be very organized and efficient. But last week a vital piece of equipment went missing from one of their offices.

Laptops are a very handy tool. They are portable and can still do everything your desktop computer can, but their portability also means they can get into the wrong hands quickly, which is exactly what happened Friday at the Salvation Army.

“Just before we closed, must have been a brief absence from the laptop, it was gone when we came back,” said Dave Ferber, Director of Community Engagement for the Salvation Army.

Many buildings on the Salvation Army campus have different security measures in place. The building the food shelf is in has a bit of an open door policy, but now Salvation Army leaders are looking to add a bit of security as well.

“Probably the most open besides our community center and so people do walk in and out, a lot of times people mistakenly walk into this building,” Ferber said.

Although he said this was no mistake, but those who use the food shelf should not be concerned. He says there was no vital information on the stolen laptop.

“This laptop did not contain anything personally identifiable and it’s not something that someone could really open, they basically have to wipe it clean and start over, reload the operating system, or they’ll probably just end up throwing it away,” Ferber said.

This type of crime can happen to anyone and those at Miracle Computers say there are some simple steps to take. Whether it is through a cloud system or an external hard drive, back up everything on your computer.

“The ease and speed of being able to restore files and whatnot. Ideally you’d want to keep that separate from your laptop, otherwise they could just walk off with that too,” said Wade Fields, owner of Miracle Computers.

Just in case you are ever put in a situation where your laptop is stolen, he said Apple’s built-in “Find My Mac” or “Prey,” which works on almost any computer would be a good idea.

“You can mark it as stolen, it’ll send back periodic updates with GPS coordinates if it has that capability or you can remotely wipe it so they don’t get to your data,” Fields said.

As for the Salvation Army, leaders said everything should continue on as usual at the food shelf. They will have their normal hours on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Rochester Police have been notified and are investigating the incident.

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