An information-technology consultant has been charged with a string of Silicon Valley office burglaries that shut down business computer networks and might have cost companies millions of dollars in losses, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced today, June 19.
Andrew Madrid, 39, of San Jose, allegedly stole computer components and customer profiles from three dozen businesses ranging from Redwood City to Los Gatos. The stolen items were estimated to be worth $400,000, but the financial losses caused by the thefts could total in the millions, Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery said.
Investigators believe Madrid is responsible for many other commercial burglaries in the Bay Area. He is suspected of several burglaries in Palo Alto, but those cases are under investigation, Flattery said.
Madrid was charged last week with 36 felonies, including 24 counts of commercial burglary, five counts of identity theft, six counts of theft or possession of stolen property, and a count of possessing methamphetamine. He could face more than 29 years in prison if convicted of all charges and is being held on $1 million bail.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's high-tech crime task force, REACT (which stands for Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, investigated Madrid after he was caught allegedly breaking into a Santa Clara high-tech office complex in April. The thefts took place between August 2012 and April 2013. Madrid allegedly targeted some of the companies' server rooms, pilfering computer components. Several companies' networks shut down as a result, halting their ability to conduct business over the Internet.
In some cases, the equipment stolen contained personal identifying information. The companies had to notify each customer of the potential breach and offer them credit insurance. There is no evidence that Madrid accessed any of the customers' information, the DA's office said.
Madrid also allegedly searched the businesses for credit card and corporate account information during the burglaries. Investigators identified multiple employees whose credit card information was compromised almost immediately after the burglaries.
Investigators recovered a significant percentage of the property taken in the burglaries, including almost all of the computer hardware containing personal identifying information, the DA's office said. Agents also recovered a stolen remote control car and a $4,000 electric wheelchair that Madrid allegedly bought with a stolen credit card for his aunt, who is now deceased.
The investigation found that Madrid had purchased several thousand dollars in motorcycle parts with the stolen credit cards and then installed the parts on his motorcycle. A Yamaha motorcycle was located by REACT agents and determined to have been stolen in San Jose last year.
The REACT Task Force nabbed Madrid for a similar string of burglaries in 2007, including cases in which he hacked into corporate computers and stole data. He was sentenced to prison in 2009 and released two years later. He was still on parole for those crimes when he was arrested for committing the April burglary.
Anyone with information related to the burglaries is asked to call Agent LeDang at 408-282-2434.