Stephens County Tax Commissioner Dene Hicks said Wednesday she was the victim of a vehicle break-in while in the Atlanta area last month.
Hicks said that she had traveled to East Point last month to attend Department of Revenue training on House Bill 386, the bill that changed motor vehicle tax in Georgia.
She explaind that she went to East Point the night before the training in order to avoid morning traffic in Atlanta.
According to Hicks, her vehicle was broken into while she was having dinner.
“I went to eat not 150 yards from where the room was and was in there about 30 minutes and came back out to find that my car had been broken into,” said Hicks.
Hicks said it was her personal vehicle that she was driving, not a county-owned vehicle.
She went on to say that two items specifically were stolen from the car.
“The only thing taken that was county-owned was my briefcase that had all of my notes in it from House Bill 386 for the past year and my county laptop with my county Aircard,” said Hicks. “My gun was stolen that I have had for forever.”
Regarding the county-owned laptop that was stolen, Hicks said that computer contained no sensitive information regarding county residents.
Hicks said that her office does not possess information that would be considered sensitive.
“On the property tax side, there is nothing that is involved that my office deals with that is sensitive information as far as the public is concerned,” said Hicks. “We do not collect that kind of information, so there was nothing there that would have been on it.”
Hicks explained that information such as how much a person owes in property tax, whether they have paid their tax, or when they paid their tax is all public record.
As for motor vehicle records, which are not public record, Hicks said that laptop could not be used to access that information.
“On the motor vehicle side, that is a closed system,” said Hicks. “The only way you can access any kind of motor vehicle records is within this office. You cannot access that in any other place.”
Hicks said the East Point Police Department is investigating the break-in.