Republicans’ Capitol Hill offices being burgled: An inside job?

posted at 10:41 am on May 17, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

It appears that our Congresspeople, et al, have a thief in their midst. (Or is it, thieves?) Highly irregular, this:

Puzzling break-ins over the last month at the offices of at least three House members and several committees have U.S. Capitol Police gumshoes working to find a pattern and the culprits, with missing items ranging from cash and expensive computer equipment to autographed baseballs and alcohol.

In at least four of the cases, thieves broke into the offices at night when doors were locked, leading some staffers to believe they were victims of an inside job.

“The evidence points to someone with access to my office, and other offices in the Capitol complex, as the perpetrator,” freshman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., surmised in a letter to the House’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.

Other offices hit—many of which handle information dealing with issues of national security, though nothing of a sensitive nature was reportedly taken—include those of Reps. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and Jon Runyan, R-N.J.; the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security; and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. …

In each case, items stolen were high in street value. Computer monitors, cameras, and cash were taken most frequently; other items included blazers, personal iPods, and in three cases, alcohol. Lewis’s office reportedly lost four signed baseballs, six bottles of wine, and a $200 set of presidential Easter eggs. In at least four cases, thieves broke into the offices during the evening while doors were locked.

So, what do you think? A routine D.C.-style grab-and-go pilferage by random passers-by, maintenance crew, or the like; or, are the street-value items perhaps just a red herring for something more… pernicious? Rep. Lewis is on the House Appropriations Committee,  Rep. Gowdy the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Runyan the House Armed Services Committee, and a couple of those committee rooms were burgled, too — but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that data of a sensitive nature could have been compromised. Our crime-filled nation’s capital is fraught with break-ins on a daily basis, including the Capitol Hill neighborhood, but, c’mon… Capitol offices? Those would have to be some of the more audacious thieves in the history of thievery.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Have any of you tried to enter the office buildings without being searched and without signing something? And after hours? The thief would have to hide someplace where the cops wouldn’t find them and then they’d have to leave with the loot in the middle of the night. Were doors jimmied? And in this day and age of cameras everywhere and threats by terrorists, there aren’t hall cameras in these office buildings?

If the thieves entered with a key and they had a parking spot in the garage, it would be very easy. Surely the cops can trace who exactly has master keys. If street thieves are randomly breaking in, we’ve got some serious security problems. Barrack and Michelle better check the silver.

Portia46 on May 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

all you guys are way overthinking this thing. It’s gonna be an intern or a low level aide who has found a way to stay in the building after it’s locked up for the night – very easy to do in any big building unless there are internal motion sensors.

Tom Servo on May 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

The House office buildings really aren’t locked up for the night. But you are right, it is probably low-level staffer or intern with an affinity for Presdiential Easter eggs. And as to it being somebody who grew up thinking they were entitled, that hardly narrows down the field when considering those who work on the hill.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I’m not so sure it’s necessarily an inside job. With all the people coming and going during the day, it might not be hard to remain in the building after hours. If any number of Congressmen are apparently sleeping in their offices, the Capitol might not normally be dark and silent, either. The big problem would be getting bulky equipment out of the building.

OTOH, the fact that these are repeated break-ins, not just an isolated event, suggests thieves who know the nighttime routines and whose presence wouldn’t automatically arouse suspicion. If it’s a janitor, he might be able to stash the stuff somewhere over night, or work in cahoots with a guard — and he might just happen to be Democrat.

From a conspiracy angle, however, a cleaning crew thief might be paid off in whatever he can steal, while a pro does the bugging….

JM Hanes on May 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Wait – we put Jerry Lewis in the House?

connertown on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

.
Why so surprised? Minnesota put Al Franken in the Senate!

ExpressoBold on May 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I’d be sweeping my office for bugs and cameras.

Bishop on May 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Yup. And after I realize that it’s clean, I’d “discover” my own bugs and cameras and blame the Obama administration to see how they squirm and waste resources trying to deny it.

Damage done.

NapaConservative on May 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

OT: Donna Summer died today of cancer. Being a former disco queen, this is a sad day.

Typicalwhitewoman on May 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

WHY Isn’t The FOLLOW Word in EVERY HEADLINE for this Story – and WHY aren’t we SCREAMING THIS WORD from EVERY MOUNTAINTOP?!!!

WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!
WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

At my wife’s workplace, several people had their purses taken while they were at the cafeteria. In all cases, they’d left the purse in their office and had taken just money to the cafeteria.

It turned out to be the Cafeteria cashier, who’d worked in the place for 10 years. She know where each person’s office was down the hall, and when someone showed up without their purse, she’d excuse herself to go to the restroom.

She was caught when a woman found the cashier in her office. The cashier claimed she’d gone into the office to adjust her bra strap, but the office was not between the cafeteria and the restroom. Corporate security set up a sting, and caught her with a purse in her hands.

unclesmrgol on May 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM

And as to it being somebody who grew up thinking they were entitled, that hardly narrows down the field when considering those who work on the hill.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Damm. I snorted my milk out my nose when I read that.

unclesmrgol on May 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I find it odd that they’re narrowing down the thefts to “during the evening.”

Most of the theft of treasure in D.C. occurs in those offices, all day every day every week every month every year.

Cheesecakecrush on May 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Maybe cause we’re not cray-cray as a loon…

libfreeordie on May 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This is so Nixonian.

The Capital police don’t have video logs, and cleaning/maintenance logs, showing people coming, and going and signing in and out?

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I hope we don’t have to wait for the O to be re-elected and get a Watergate style resignation. That would leave Biden as President (or, if he went down in it too, then … ummm, Boehner?).

krome on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Maybe cause we’re not cray-cray as a loon…

libfreeordie on May 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No – because you want to HIDE THE SIMILARITIES OF THESE BURGLARIES WITH WATERGATE!!!

And OBAMA’s SIMILARITIES TO NIXON AT HIS MOST PARANOID!!

We WILL discover that OBAMA ORDERED THESE BURGLARIES!!

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

If the thieves entered with a key and they had a parking spot in the garage, it would be very easy. Surely the cops can trace who exactly has master keys. If street thieves are randomly breaking in, we’ve got some serious security problems. Barrack and Michelle better check the silver.

Portia46 on May 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Are you thinking what I’m thinking OWS D.C. camp?

Video Listen to Mr Zick of the Committee of Oversight and Reform speaking about camping by the OWS D.C. camp, and footage of D.C. OWS violence.

They believe the shooter who shot at the White House had previously been at the OWS D.C. camp.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Coming soon: Political opponent roundups!

Later: Watch what you say on Twitter, Hot Air, Facebook, et al, unless you want to wind up like your Congressman!

Mr Galt on May 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Other offices hit—many of which handle information dealing with issues of national security, though nothing of a sensitive nature was reportedly taken—include those of Reps. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and Jon Runyan, R-N.J.; the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security; and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. …

hmmmm…..OWS D.C. having a fatal attraction with the U.S. branches of government? We won’t be ignored!

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Wait – we put Jerry Lewis in the House?

connertown on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

.
Why so surprised? Minnesota put Al Franken in the Senate!

ExpressoBold on May 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

And Joe Biden is the VP!

itsnotaboutme on May 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Who was Mr Zick speaking to in that video about OWS D.C. squatting in D.C. park to, in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. …?

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

If this is OWS D.C. burglarizing the offices of the U.S. House members, this trumps the OWS in Ohio, who tried to blow up a bridge in Cincinnati.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

There is NO WAY this is simple burglary. C’mon. Someone with access to the Capitol building at night is not going to risk a cushy lifetime job and extravagant government worker benefits for baseballs and booze. There is just no way. someone got paid big bucks to break in there.

Look at the victims: 3 Republicans. 2 from blue states and 1 freshman (which means he just flipped his district). Are these seats vulnerable? It sounds like someone is gathering dirt for the election.

bitsy on May 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

How are there not security cameras in the hallways?

tyketto on May 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

They believe the shooter who shot at the White House had previously been at the OWS D.C. camp.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Yeah, but of course, the OWS spokesbum was adamant that he really wasn’t part of their movement. Neither was the guy who abandoned his baby in the encampment nor the people that threw an 80-year-old woman down a flight of concrete stairs. Occupy DC apparently is nothing but a Bible study group by another name.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Why is the following so paranoid? Who else would be around after hours with access to keys for entry? It isn’t paranoid to start with the janitorial staff as well as security staff…

Besides, if the person(s) who had an iPod/iPad/iPhone stolen had the “Find my iPod/iPad/iPhone” feature activated, it would be a very good place to start finding the person on the item end while the investigation proceeds from the locations of the robberies.

I’d be a bit surprised why this would take longer than 2 weeks to figure out.

Danny on May 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

No – because you want to HIDE THE SIMILARITIES OF THESE BURGLARIES WITH WATERGATE!!!

And OBAMA’s SIMILARITIES TO NIXON AT HIS MOST PARANOID!!

We WILL discover that OBAMA ORDERED THESE BURGLARIES!!

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Is that you Angryed?

libfreeordie on May 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Occupy DC apparently is nothing but a Bible study group by another name.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I’m just saying I don’t think this crime is going to take Dick Tracy to figure it out ;) If I was the capital police, I would be screening OWS D.C. You Tubes with any surveillance video they have of the House Member’s offices.

It might be extremely embarrassing for democrat law makers though if they do solve this crime.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Occupy DC apparently is nothing but a Bible study group by another name.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

It’s even possible that some of the OWS D.C. members were “physically present” when Mr Zick was testifying in front of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

McPherson Square: Who Made the Decision to Allow Indefinite Camping in the Park?

This is from the Committee of Oversight and Reform’s website.

That has listed Mr. Timothy Zick (testimony)
Cabell Research Professor of Law
William and Mary School of Law

Got to wonder if one of the Members burglarized was listening to that testimony, and if members from OWS D.C. were present at the testimony. How difficult would it be for them to find out where the member’s offices were located?

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Why are only Republican offices being robbed?
Is this being done on the orders of a high-ranking Democrat?
Does some Democrat staffer need drug money?

Kilroy on May 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Ghost of Richard Nixon, wandering the capitol at night rattling his chains.

Fleuries on May 17, 2012 at 2:06 PM

No – because you want to HIDE THE SIMILARITIES OF THESE BURGLARIES WITH WATERGATE!!!

And OBAMA’s SIMILARITIES TO NIXON AT HIS MOST PARANOID!!

We WILL discover that OBAMA ORDERED THESE BURGLARIES!!

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Stop yelling, you’re giving me a headache.

kenashimame on May 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Tit for tat.

woodNfish on May 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Two thoughts:

A. Typical intimidation/thug tactics.

B. This Trey Gowdy?

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/04/27/video-rep-gowdys-religious-liberty-lesson-for-secretary-sebelius/

I don’t think the Dems like him very much…

cs89 on May 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Why are only Republican offices being robbed?
Is this being done on the orders of a high-ranking Democrat?
Does some Democrat staffer need drug money?

Kilroy on May 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Anyone working at the capital have had a thorough back ground check, and those security measures have probably been enhanced since 9-11 when lawmakers were getting anthrax mailed to them.

If the locks didn’t show signs of being picked or broken maybe this didn’t happen at night when no one was in the office? How secure are the keys that lock the offices? Who have access to their keys, and how many copies are there? Is there a master key that opens all their offices?

I use OWS D.C. as an example, because I have watched the videos of those people, they are the dredges of humanity, and some of them probably have criminal back grounds. I could see them targeting Republican Lawmakers. Especially if those same Republicans were on the committee to have them thrown out of the park they were squatting in. Viva la Revolution or as Nancy Pelosi likes to say.

Dr Evil on May 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM

How do you just break in to Capitol Hill and steal a bunch of stuff? Isn’t there a team of security guards there with monitors? And aren’t there checkpoints where you have to enter a code or something? How does stuff like this happen in a post 9/11 world?

SoulGlo on May 17, 2012 at 8:17 PM

All I can say is GOOD! Bastrids have been ripping us off for years. Make the bastrids feel unsafe where they live work and play.

Anyone seen that Fluke broad lately or one of Sharptons or Jacksons Panthers sneakin around there? Maybe one of OBLahBLahs peeps got bored with the wed night parties and decided to ply their trade in a Treasure rich area. Whats big deal about a little B & E among friends?

ConcealedKerry on May 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Next thing ya know someone will slip in there and steal all the paperwork related to Fast and Furious!
Dang thieves anyway, stole my prison ticket,,,,Holder!

ConcealedKerry on May 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Oh goody.

Now Issa can conduct another one of his “investigations” that never amounts to anything.

The Spineless Rinos in Congress will never do to the Demonrats what they have done to the GOP. This has commie Watergate written all over it.

I hold my breath awaiting yet another tepid and pathetic response.

Mr Galt on May 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Should hire some retired spooks to track down the culprits, that is if the GOP is truly serious about getting the jackasses behind this.

Obviously, knowing the feckless GOP as I do, nothing aggressive will be done on this…if anything develops it will no doubt be well after the election has been decided…

insidiator on May 18, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Most common culprit for this sort of thing is one of the security guards themselves. Many office buildings in D.C. struggle with this, given that the security guard pool is mostly drawn from D.C. natives not renowned for their respect for other people’s property. You’d think the Capitol would vet better than the private security firms, but then again maybe not.

JeremiahJohnson on May 18, 2012 at 8:46 AM

No – because you want to HIDE THE SIMILARITIES OF THESE BURGLARIES WITH WATERGATE!!!

And OBAMA’s SIMILARITIES TO NIXON AT HIS MOST PARANOID!!

We WILL discover that OBAMA ORDERED THESE BURGLARIES!!

williamg on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Stop yelling, you’re giving me a headache.

kenashimame on May 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

GOOD! Now – I hope to give some of your OTHER Liberal Democrat Friends HEADACHES!

williamg on May 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Just look for a gang of obama supporters wearing hoodies.

Pork-Chop on May 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Is that you Angryed?

libfreeordie on May 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Nah. angryed is on your side.

totherightofthem on May 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM

This has commie Watergate written all over it.

Mr Galt on May 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Yep.

totherightofthem on May 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM

WHY Isn’t The FOLLOW Word in EVERY HEADLINE for this Story – and WHY aren’t we SCREAMING THIS WORD from EVERY MOUNTAINTOP?!!!

WATERGATE!!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!!! WATERGATE!! WATERGATE! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!

Dude…breathe.

englishqueen01 on May 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2