Walnut Creek police are investigating the threat to people's identity posed by a Feb. 7-8 break-in in which locked files of customers' private information were stolen from the Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek dealership.
More than 2,000 customers are vulnerable for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and driver license numbers contained in the files, said a woman who asked to be identified as Allison B., who lives in Orinda. She had received a voicemail from Mercedes explaining the problem from the theft at the dealership at 1301 Parkside Dr. in Walnut Creek.
"Any time you give up your SSN, businesses have the responsibility to protect you," said Allison B. "It's out of your control. You have to trust whatever company you're giving it to."
Allison B. has leased a Mercedes from the dealership. She said people affected include those who bought or leased a car, or used one of the courtesy vehicles the dealership provides during extended service.
"They have already learned of customers' identity being fraudulently used for new credit card applications," said Allison B.
Sonic Automotive, affiliated with Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek, has offered the affected customers a credit monitoring service, KTVU TV reported Thursday night.
A Walnut Creek PD detective specializing in identity theft is probing the incident, said a woman who asked to be identified as Allison B.
In the Feb. 7-8 incident, the thieves stole locked cabinets after prying open an outside door and another door in the business office, KTVU reported.
The Walnut Creek PD bulletin for Feb. 8 reports: "Theft of customers information from locked area on site. (Occurred) sometime last night. (Disposition): Burglary to locked offices. Occurred between 2200 hrs on 2/7/13 and 0500 hrs. on 2/8/13. Loss: Sales files."