They believe computer hackers got access to the city bank account, which is used as a direct deposit to pay workers. It is unknown how much money was taken, but more than $400,000 has been transferred to several accounts over the past two days.
"Any time that more than $400,000 actually moves out of a city of Burlington account, there can't possibly be a joke involved," said town administrator Bryan Harrison. "It actually is very chilling."
City employees participating in the city's direct electronic payroll deposit program have been notified that their account information has been compromised. Employees are encouraged to contact their banks to flag or close the accounts associated with the electronic payroll deposit, and to notify appropriate credit reporting agencies that they may be victims of identity theft.
The affected city account has been frozen for protection.
Investigators said the hackers could have taken data from the city's sewer customers as well. Approximately 300 people have been affected in the town of 8,400.
As Burlington police investigators are also potential victims in the case, Mount Vernon police will be assisting federal investigators.