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MPD Refutes Smartphones Were Stolen From Target Workers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis Police have refuted reports that smartphones had been taken from at least six IT professionals over the past two days.

Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that a source told CBS News that smartphones had been stolen from workers at the downtown headquarters in Minneapolis, phones that directly connected to Target's data systems.

The source reportedly believed it to be a coordinated effort to get back into the system after the original data breach and that employees were watched coming in and out of IT offices while wearing Target badges when their phones were taken.

On Thursday afternoon, Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said there was no truth to the claim.

"There is absolutely nothing to this. It didn't happen. Target did not have any cell phones stolen," Elder said. "We ran this up the chain of command at Target. It didn't happen."

The report came off another piece of bad news for the company, which has been coping with a high-profile data breach that cut into their holiday shopping season last year. On Wednesday, hundreds of its employees found out they were out of a job. The company announced 475 layoffs worldwide, and added they also would not be filling 700 open positions.

The company said this is not a result of the massive data breach over the holidays that compromised information of many as 110 million customers. Target wouldn't give an exact number as to how many of those job cuts would be coming from its downtown headquarters. A company spokesperson said "a very small percent" were from the downtown Minneapolis campus.

Target wouldn't say whether more layoffs are looming.


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