A Thurston County judge has set bail at $10,000 for Nicholas W. Perring, an Olympia man suspected of stealing hard drives containing names and Social Security numbers from a federal office.
Perring, 28, appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price on Monday. Price found probable cause to charge Perring with four counts of second-degree burglary.
According to court documents, Perring is suspected of breaking into four offices, all at 701 Capitol Way S., on two different days. The offices belong to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Support Enforcement, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Federal Highway Administration and Lightspeed Retail.
The Olympia Police Department reported that the first burglary occurred on Feb. 5. Several items were taken, including about $600 and two external hard drives from the Office of Child Support Enforcement. Each hard drive contained between 2 million and 5 million individual profiles, which include people’s names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, according to court documents.
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The hard drives haven’t been recovered.
Perring also allegedly took a government credit card, a laptop, two thumb drives, an iPod, office supplies and a running bra from the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
A television remote and a magnifying glass were taken from the National Federation of Independent Business, according to court documents.
On March 7, a second burglary was reported in the building. A camera, a backpack and $39 were taken from the Federal Highway Administration, and two laptops, a computer camera, a Super Nintendo and three Nintendo games were taken from Lightspeed Retail.
Both burglaries had no signs of forced entry, according to court documents.
An agent from the Department of Homeland Security contacted Olympia detectives and provided them with a list of employees from the building. They learned that a female former employee who was fired for stealing had pawned several items matching the descriptions of those that had been taken in the burglaries. Perring is the woman’s boyfriend, and detectives learned that he also had pawned several items, according to court documents.
Perring was arrested and booked into the Thurston County Jail. Court records indicate he admitted to the burglaries, but said he didn’t know anything about the hard drives.
The Olympia Police Department is still investigating. Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call the department’s detective division at 360-753-8300.