Computer thievery in Carson City is still rampant despite efforts to track down the bandits, said Chief Sheriff's Deputy Scott Burau.
"They are targeting businesses that are not alarmed," he said. "They are very selective in what they are taking as if they are using a shopping list."
Over the past four weeks, investigators estimate there have been 15 break-ins with a total of $15,000 to $20,000 of computer-related equipment stolen. The thefts have occurred throughout Carson City.
Burau said the department has few leads because the thieves are careful to break into businesses that do not appear to be alarmed and they have meticulously avoided leaving prints behind.
Burau said that to avoid being victimized by a computer thief firms should consider an alarm or other security system and put computers and other valuables out of the sight of prying eyes.
"They need to be cognizant of who is coming and going from the business," he said.
Suspicious activity should reported to the sheriff's department, even if it is appears to be premature, Burau said.
"We would rather be inundated with information that has the potential of producing leads," he said.
The hardware bandits have gone as far as to open up computers and steal computer chips and performance cards, leaving less-valuable components behind.
Burau warns that businesses could lose more than just machines in the thefts.
"For some of the businesses who thought their files were backed up, restoration didn't work," he said. He suggests testing the backup systems regularly.
Anyone with information on the thefts is encouraged to call sheriff's investigators at 887-2020, ext. 1400.