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Greensburg medical facility laptops stolen

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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010
 

Two laptop computers containing patient information were stolen from two Greensburg medical complexes over the weekend, city police said Tuesday.

One theft occurred at Dr. Barry Bupp's dental practice in Medical Commons One on South Street, the other in Dr. Elie Abdallah's office in the Medical Arts Building on Shearer Street, police said.

The specific types of records on the laptops couldn't be determined yesterday. One police report listed the data as "patient information," while the other described it as "confidential patient information."

Neither Bupp nor Abdallah returned telephone calls. A woman who identified herself as Abdallah's office manager wouldn't comment when she was contacted at the office yesterday.

Authorities believed the medical professionals or their staffs were notifying patients, if they believed that was warranted because of the information contained on the computers.

Police believe the same suspects may be involved in both cases. They cited the close proximity of the buildings -- they are less than 200 yards apart -- that both incidents occurred about the same time and there were no signs of forced entry in either theft. At Abdallah's office, a code must be entered on a key pad to gain access, police said.

"It seems like the same person, the same group of people are involved," said Greensburg police Capt. George Seranko. "Somehow, they got in. There's no forced entry into the buildings."

Suspects include anyone who usually would have after-hours or easy access to the buildings, Seranko said.

He said police want to review video surveillance footage and are talking to security staff at nearby Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

A Bupp employee discovered the computer missing when she opened the office Monday morning, police said. Employees said the office was closed and the door locked about 1 p.m. Friday.

Abdallah, an internist and pulmonologist, discovered the computer missing about 7 a.m. Saturday, police said. At first, Abdallah thought technicians may have taken the laptop from a desk to work on it but later determined it had been stolen, authorities reported.

Employees told police Abdallah's office was locked about 5 p.m. Friday.

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