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Forget jewelery, Falls Church thieves went after bank info

Thursday - 11/17/2011, 1:56pm  ET

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Police in Falls Church are investigating a first-of-its-kind burglary here and warning neighbors to take precautions.

At least one burglar slipped through an unlocked sliding glass door in the 1300 block of Robinson Place.

But instead of going after common home targets such as jewelry and cash, police say this intruder was after banking information.

The individual or people "took a laptop and only a laptop and then proceeded to access bank information and attempted to make purchases using the bank information," says Susan Finarelli, a spokeswoman for the City of Falls Church.

The sophisticated scheme included making duplicate bank cards without the original cards.

Ultimately, the attempt to buy pricey goods at an area department store didn't work out.

Police believe the burglary happened between 8:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 6 a.m. Nov. 15. The residents were home but asleep, the report says.

Beyond the usual advice of locking doors and windows, this unusual burglary also is a reminder about tech security.

"As far as computer safety, keep your passwords in a secure location in case someone gains access to your home," Finarelli says.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)