By Wade Coggeshall
AVON — A local businessman is scrambling to safeguard personal information after his iPad was stolen.
Jon Guy was shopping about 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Avon Walmart with his family. When he returned to his car in the parking lot, he discovered the front passenger-side window of his Ford Expedition had been busted. An iPad that had been on the floorboard there was missing.
Melissa, Guy’s wife, says that’s the only item stolen that they’re aware of so far. Guy’s briefcase was ransacked but nothing appears to be missing, she added.
“I think they were just trying to get in and out quickly,” Melissa said.
Avon police have checked video surveillance from the store. It appears two females orchestrated the break-in, but Assistant Police Chief Bill Weems says it’s difficult to get good video footage of a parking lot.
“It’s not like being inside the store,” he said. “Usually when they get something, at best we can tell what kind of car it is. But normally you can’t make out people or license plates.”
More concerning for Guy is the amount of personal information he had on his iPad. As owner of GuyCo, a home building and remodeling company based in Avon, he basically kept all his business records on the device.
“It’s amazing how much of your life you can put on them,” Guy said.
He’s advising others to be careful with what information they store on their electronic devices. It’s important to have sensitive information password-protected and to utilize features like automatic data erasing after a certain number of unsuccessful tips at using the passcode and Apple’s MobileMe/iCloud service to back up data. A lost or stolen gadget may also be located if the GPS is activated on it.
“Be careful what you put on your electronic devices, because if someone takes it, it exposes you quite tremendously,” said Guy, whose company helps sponsor the All Pro Dad and Shop with a Cop programs, as well as local AJAA little league teams. “After spending three hours on the phone with Apple, I learned you don’t have a lot of rights when it comes to shutting down your information.”
Weems has some advice of his own.
“Don’t leave stuff like that in your car, out in the open where people can see it,” he said.