Laptop with Starbucks employee data stolen

SEATTLE A laptop containing private data on about 97,000 Starbucks employees was stolen in October, and company officials Monday warned them to watch for possible identity theft.

In a letter to the employees affected, Starbucks officials said they had recently learned the laptop was stolen on Oct. 29, but said that so far there was no indication that the private information has been misused.

Starbucks said it offered the employees a year of free credit monitoring services, and it pledged to implement companywide new information security controls, such as data encryption.

Starbucks officials acknowledged that this was not the first time private employee information has been stolen, though they described such incidents as “uncommon” in a statement released Monday. Officials said they were not aware of any identity theft issues that resulted from those previous incidents.