Kleiner Perkins Computer Theft Investigated by Police

Police in Menlo Park, California, are investigating a July theft of computers from venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which backed technology giants Facebook Inc. (FB), Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)

Six laptops, two monitors and a docking station were taken in the break-in that happened between the evening of July 18 and the morning of July 21, Sergeant Tim Brackett said in an interview.

“Our investigations unit is looking into it and conducting any of the follow-ups that go along with that,” Brackett said.

The break-in may mark the latest case of intellectual-property theft in Silicon Valley, home to Facebook, Google Inc. (GOOG) and other technology firms. In May 2011, an armed person in a ski mask entered the offices of startup Nicira Networks Inc., grabbed a computer that stored the company’s source code and fled.

“We began investigating this incident as soon as we learned of it on July 21, and we are cooperating with law enforcement in an effort to recover the laptops and apprehend the offenders,” Paul Vronsky, general counsel at Kleiner Perkins, wrote in an Aug. 13 letter to New Hampshire’s attorney general’s office, saying the incident may have involved the personal information of one of the state’s residents.

Among the items stolen were two password-protected laptops used by workers in the Menlo Park-based firm’s finance department that contained social security numbers and financial-accounts data, he wrote in the letter. The company is working with forensic and security experts to upgrade its building and computer security, he wrote.

“We have no knowledge that any information has been or will be misused,” Vronsky wrote.

Christina Lee, a spokeswoman for Kleiner Perkins, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and a voice-mail message seeking comment on the theft.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at avekshin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Stacie Sherman, Pete Young

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