Evans City officials spooked by sneaky office intruder

November 8, 2018 Cranberry Breaking News

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EVANS CITY — An unauthorized person has reportedly accessed the borough secretary's office, prompting officials to change locks and computer passwords in an attempt to prevent further intrusions. Meanwhile, police have found no evidence that someone had improperly accessed the office.

The unidentified intruder reportedly printed documents and made copies, said Lee Dyer, council president, at Monday's council meeting. Officials do not believe anything was stolen.

“Somehow, someway, someone has gotten access to the borough secretary's office,” Dyer said. “There have been a couple instances where the lights were off, computers were off, then all of a sudden somebody comes in to do some work and lights are on, computers are on, copies of things have been made.”

The staff contacted the police and set about changing the locks and passwords, while checking to make sure nothing had been stolen.

“There are all kinds of documents in there. There's confidential information in there. Money in there, checks in there,” Dyer said. “They had to have access codes to the computer to get in (to print documents), and that's a little scary.”

Dyer said the printed document was from the Center for Disease Control entitled “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations.” It was reportedly left on the printer.

An inventory of the room showed nothing else amiss.

“We looked at the office thoroughly,” he said. “It appears as though someone just wanted to get on the computer to print some documents.”

Dyer said he spoke to police Chief Joe McCombs about the incident, but said neither are expecting to catch the intruder because little evidence was left to investigate.

McCombs is on medical leave and was not available to comment.

Tom Smith, Evans City-Seven Fields Regional Police administrator, said the borough has not made a formal complaint to the department and that officers looked into the matter and found nothing, despite security cameras outside and throughout the building.

“There is no investigation. There was no formal complaint filed on behalf of the Evans City Borough,” he said. “I don't know what was being alleged. I know that we have reviewed the video tape. Nothing comes up.”

The cameras are always on, Smith explained, and there is no gap in footage in which an intruder could be missed.

“On my side of the fence, there is nothing,” he said.

Dyer said Wednesday that he is aware of the inconclusive camera footage, but that the cameras were not checked until more than a week after the alleged incident as he was not notified until more than a week later. The hallway cameras erase footage after seven days.

Dyer added that after talking with other council members and those with access to the office, he is confident the intruder wasn't anyone authorized to be there.

Council member Shelley Natali said that even with the changes, she is still worried about someone improperly accessing the documents, particularly with personnel documents and other files stored there.

“I'm kind of concerned,” she said.

And with no answers as to what happened, who did it, or how, she did not see a reason to believe it won't happen again.

Still, with nothing found to be taken or otherwise disturbed, Dyer said he's confident the alleged intruder will not be in the office again.

“I honestly think this was a low key thing,” he said. “There was absolutely nothing else touched. We're comfortable it was a one time thing.”

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