BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The former coworker of a Hollidaysburg man accused of using a GPS tracking device to stalk a man now faces charges for providing passwords so he could access sensitive information.
James Pedersen, 61, of Cherry Tree, is accused of giving his Norfolk Southern password to 47-year-old Donald Byers so Byers could access the company’s mainframe and see what trains employees were operating and the locations and timetables of their routes, according to charges filed by Hollidaysburg Borough police.
Pedersen was arraigned Thursday on three counts of unlawful use of a computer and he remains free on an unsecured $25,000 bond.
Police indicated that messages and photos found on two cellphones seized in the search of Byers’s home on April 2, included three photos of sensitive information from the Norfolk Southern mainframe database and exchanges between Pedersen and Byers, where Pedersen gave him his updated passwords.
Byers is accused of stalking the man over a woman they both worked with — a woman who is now also charged with helping Byers. Byers was fired from the railroad in Dec. 2019 and was not to have access to the mainframe.
Pedersen admitted to police in May that he gave Byers the passwords three times over the span of several months after he was fired and said Byers never gave a reason for wanting access to the system.
Byers was arrested in early April on charges in the stalking case. He is now charged and awaiting arraignment on nine felony counts that include unlawful use of a computer and computer trespass.
Pedersen was arraigned Thursday on three felony counts of unlawful use of a computer by providing a password, PIN or other confidential information. He was released on an unsecured $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner for a preliminary hearing on June 15.
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