Personal information for hundreds exposed after break in at apartment office

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - The personal information of hundreds of renters was exposed after crooks broke into an apartment complex front office.

The break-in happened at the Carrington of Champion Forest apartments in the 13000 block of Cutten Road back in August but one family told Local 2 they are still dealing with the fallout several months later.  

"Our full names, Social Security numbers, address was all stolen," said Brian Frederick. "They also had our bank routing numbers."

Brian Frederick said just this week, more than three months after the theft, someone stole his identity. He received an alert that someone had opened a credit card using his information and already racked up $2,000 in charges.  

"We had the credit bureaus on alert within hours of finding out but still this happened," said Melissa Frederick.

Melissa Frederick told Local 2 they weren't notified of the security breach until two days after the break-in. The apartment complex managers confirmed to Local 2 they were delayed in notifying the tenants because they were gathering the facts first.

The Fredericks want to know how this happened in the first place.

"I assumed our information would either be kept on computers where it was harder to access or that it was put in a safe," Melissa Frederick said. "Apparently it was just in a filing cabinet where someone could easily walk in, grab it and walk out."

In a statement, the apartment managers said, "We recognize that Residents were concerned by this incident, and we want to confirm that the safety and security of our Residents, their personal information, and the property is our highest priority.  Although we cannot comment publicly on security measures, we can assure our Residents that we have always taken measures to protect their personal information and have taken measures to help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future."

The Fredericks want other renters to know this happened and suggest checking with a complex about their security measures before signing a lease.

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