LAWRENCE (CBS) – Hundreds of records were stolen from a Registry of Motor Vehicles branch in Lawrence on Wednesday.
Police say a courier hauling bags of paperwork filled with personal information from customers at the Wilmington Registry of Motor Vehicles was ripped off when he pulled up to the Lawrence branch and left the car unlocked.
When he went inside, two masked men jumped out of a stolen Jeep and swiped the car.
“He exited vehicle, took in whatever mail needed to go inside,” Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said. “An employee of that registry was on her way to work. She observed 2 individuals – they had masks on and hoodies – take out the satchels, throw them in the car, and drive away.”
The RMV said Friday that somewhere between 500 and 600 records, which included personal customer information, consisted of registration transactions, duplicate titles, crash reports, citation payments, rebate requests and municipal parking and excise releases.
Registrar Rachel Kaprielian tells WBZ-TV the stop was a standard pickup for the courier route. She calls the theft a highly unusual situation.
She noted that the documents did not include social security numbers.
Police say the heist was a well-thought-out plan, although investigators are not clear on what the motive may have been. They say the suspects stole a green jeep from Framingham to pull it off, and dumped the courier’s car in a nearby neighborhood.
Dawn Atwood says the thieves ended up right in front of her house on Gilbert Street in Lawrence.
“What a sick world we’re living in today with people who want to rob the registry,” she said.
Police say it’s clear this was not a crime of opportunity. They believe the courier was followed or the suspects knew the route and followed him to that location.
The RMV said it planned to directly contact customers whose information may have been compromised by the incident.
Concerned customers can also contact the RMV at 617-351-4500 or by email.
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran contributed to this report.