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SAN FRANCISCO-A computer hard drive has been stolen containing personnel information on 20,000 employees of Levi Strauss & Co. around the country as well as an unreleased number of retirees.

The stolen information includes Social Security numbers, which could be used to obtain credit cards, plus bank account information of retirees who have direct deposit of pension benefits. The company has sent letters warning those affected to take precautions.

There has been no indication yet, however, that any of this information has been used fraudulently, said a spokesman for the San Francisco-based apparel maker. The spokesman noted the company has backup for all the data stolen as part of its normal safeguarding procedures. He would not say whether the data was encrypted.

The drive was taken from within a building at Levi Strauss headquarters, said the spokesman. "We're taking steps to insure something like this doesn't happen again," he said, noting that to reveal additional details would jeopardize its security efforts.