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VA laptop thieves busted

Two men were charged over the weekend for the theft of the VA computer that caused so much trouble for VA officials.
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Written by ZDNet Editors, Contributors on
Two men were charged over the weekend for the theft of the VA computer that caused so much trouble for VA officials, the Washington Post reports.
Police arrested Jesus Alex Pineda, 19, and Christian Brian Montano, 19, both of Rockville, Md., about 9 p.m. Friday in a McDonald's restaurant and charged them yesterday with first-degree burglary and theft over $500. Montano was also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit theft over $500. A juvenile in custody on an unrelated charge is also a suspect in the crime, police said.

Pretty much as suspected, the thieves didn't know what they had. "As far as we can determine, this was a random burglary," Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said at a news conference. "They did not know what they had."

Key information that led to Friday's arrests came from a phone tip received by the FBI within the previous few days, Manger said. The three are suspected in at least five other burglaries, police said, and two of them have criminal records.

Manger said yesterday that it is uncertain whether the tipster who led police to the laptop -- or anyone else -- will receive the $50,000 reward. "We want to make sure that the right people get that reward money," he said.

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