• Thieves steal computer with personal info on it from charity that helps abused women

    By: Rachel Stockman


    Thieves stole confidential information about hundreds of domestic violence victims from a DeKalb County charity.

    Bonita Lacy, the executive director of Healing Hearts of Families Ministries, said her office was ransacked, two televisions were stolen and the organization's laptop was taken.

    She is unsure if the burglary was random or targeted.

    The laptop was used to track clients, including domestic violence victims.

    Healing Hearts helps domestic violence victims and their children escape to safe homes. They also help former incarcerated women re-enter society. The laptop was used to track new and existing clients.

    "Names, (Social Security numbers), a copy of their driver's license, birth certificates," Lacy said are just some of the things that were on the laptop. "It hurts the most vulnerable people. People that need housing, jobs."

    Lacy said she doesn't know who did it but she hasn't ruled out a former client or an ex-spouse looking for one of the women.

    "You can put it on the front porch by the garbage can, whoever returns it, I'm not going to ask any questions. Just give me the computer back, and I will give you $100," Lacy said.

    Lacy said she did back up her computer last year, but hasn't recently. The laptop also contains information for grants and for important presentations this week.

    "Whoever the culprit is, please give her laptop back because I need help, and I know hundreds of other people just like myself are here needing food, needing shelter," said Valerie Engram, who is a new client of the charities.

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