Janitor stole hard drives holding taxpayer data, hoping to download games, authorities say

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A janitor who cleaned the offices of the Florida Department of Revenue was charged Tuesday with taking four hard drives containing sensitive information about taxpayers, authorities said.

The suspect, identified as Andru Rae’sion Reed, 21, was reportedly hoping to use the devices to download video games, authorities said.

He was arrested and charged with “offenses against intellectual property” and “offense against users of computer systems,” both third-degree felonies, after the department reported the hard drive heist in its building, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The hard drives containing the information went missing last month from the Department of Revenue workstations in Tallahassee. The janitor reportedly worked for an outside company that provided cleaning services to the department.

Authorities spoke with Reed on March 30 and found the four missing hard drives at his home.

But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) says the man didn’t try to steal and access sensitive taxpayer information – instead he used the hard drives for his Xbox gaming console to download games.

“Reed said he had connected the hard drives to his Xbox to download video games without knowing what was on the hard drives,” an FDLE news release read. “It appears that the information on the hard drives was not used or further shared, but computer forensic examinations continue."

"We are confident that the information on the drives was not accessed," a department spokeswoman said in a statement. "As a result of the Department of Revenue's thorough processes and procedures to monitor and maintain equipment, we were able to rapidly identify and report the property missing."

Reed was arrested Tuesday but later released on $5,000 bail, WTXL-TV-reported.