Security video captures a thief breaking into a Sherman Oaks dental office and stealing hundreds of files containing patients’ personal information on Thursday.
The break-in happened at Riverside Dental located on the 12900 block of Riverside Drive just after 3 a.m.
Surveillance cameras captured the thief entering the office through a broken back window. As he finds the room where medical records are stored on a shelf, he’s seen quickly grabbing large piles of folders and stuffing them into a bag.
The entire theft happened within a matter of minutes.
“He’s going to sell them,” said Andy Kay, a Los Angeles-based private investigator. “If he’s going after medical records, he’s going to sell them to the highest bidder.”
Kay said the burglar either already has a buyer for the patient records or will start selling the records on the dark web.
“They’re looking to get prescriptions issued,” explained Kay. “They have the medical information on the person. They have everything about them — their date of birth, Social Security number, they have their address, they have their medical conditions.”
Although digital data breaches appear more common nowadays, Kay said the theft of hardcopy files is actually becoming very lucrative.
“You can get $1,000 a piece for somebody’s medical information as opposed to where you get $1 to $110 a piece for their Social Security and address,” said Kay.
A report was confirmed to have been filed with the police by the dentist who runs Riverside Dental.
Experts say this theft could cause a ton of trouble for the victims whose medical records were stolen. The new owners of the stolen records may be already building new fraudulent identities around the information.
Kay advises victims of personal identity theft to immediately contact their credit and financial institutions along with their pharmacies to alert them of potential fraud.