(FOX 11) It’s an identity thief’s dream come true. Hundreds of dental records were left out in what appears to be an abandoned building, and now the California State Dental Board is investigating the cause behind the “potentially unsecured dental records.”
The investigation began after a FOX 11 viewer called the news station to complain that personal information was scattered through a parking lot near the intersection of Chapman and Marks Way in the city of Orange. The police department and California State Dental Board started their own investigation as a direct result from FOX 11’s investigation into the woman’s claims Friday.
The woman, who works near the building, asked to be called Alexis.
“I could walk into a computer and get a credit card with these people’s information right now, and there’d be nothing stopping me, and I could do tons of online shopping and these people have no clue,”Alexis said.
Alexis says a former victim of identity theft her privacy is important to her that’s why she picked up the charts and tried calling the patients to see if she could return their files to them.
“These have their insurance information, social security number, dates of birth, drivers license numbers, copies of their drivers license, their addresses. How scary is that.” Alexis said.
Just looking through the broken window, dozens of charts are visible, some dating back to 1995. Alexis says the building has been in this condition for years and that she’s constantly seeing homeless people coming and going.
“On numerous occasions we’ve seen people jumping in and out of the window, so obviously they have access to this,” Alexis said.
FOX 11’s Christine O’Donnell called the number on the sign out front. The property broker said the building has been on the market for about nine months and that a dentist named Patrick Le owns it. The same Doctor Le who’s name appears on the dental charts. Le, who’s received high ratings on Yelp, runs an office called Orange Art of Dentistry that’s located less than half a mile away from the building.
FOX 11 reached out to Le repeatedly but, he did not return our calls.
The city of Orange’s Police Department spent hours sorting through the files inside the building, and the California State Dental Board sent an inspector to the property. Inspector II Dwaylon Calhoun says the board is in he process of trying to find the doctor who owns the building.
“When it comes to the safe keeping of records it is the dentist’s responsibility,” Calhoun said, “We’re not blaming the dentist right now. We’re going to find the bottom line on this.”
According to the State’s Dental Practice Act, a dentist is responsible for making sure patient records are secure. If someone is found at fault they face discipline citation and fines all the way up to having a license revoked.
Calhoun says they’ll be looking into the possible break-in and wether any of the personal information was used to harm any of the patients.
Alexis tells us she hopes all doctors take their patients privacy seriously.
“Whether he used [the building] for storage or not, he should do a better job of locking it up,” Alexis said.
Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles | Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts | Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.