A temporary employee who worked at the state Office of Policy and Management is a suspect in the theft of personal information about applicants to a furnace rebate program from 2008 through this month, OPM said today.

The state learned of the theft Friday from Hartford police, who have a potential suspect, said Robert Genuario, the secretary of OPM.

The stolen files contain the names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth for as few as one person and as many as 11,000.

The rebate program provided up to $500 to qualified applicants who replaced their furnaces or boilers with higher efficiency models.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered OPM to contract with an identity theft protection agency to assist those who may be affected by the theft.

The potential victims will be notified by OPM.

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