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.


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It appears that our Congresspeople, et al, have a thief in their midst.

You are kidding with this opening line… right?

JohnGalt23 on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

So, what do you think?

what is the dem version of watergate?

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Given that it’s only REPUBLICAN offices being burgled… Is it possible that this could be an operation run by members of a certain other party with RAT in it’s name?

wildcat72 on May 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

“Those would have to be some of the more audacious thieves in the history of thievery.”

Not if they knew before the chances of them being punished were low. Especially if they found certain documents that an interested third party wanted.

Zaggs on May 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

So, the takeaway here is that they are concerned about $200 worth of Easter eggs, but not about $1.6 trillion per year of deficits. I guess when it is their money, it matters.

Vashta.Nerada on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Are all the victims Repubs?

Washington Nearsider on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Sounds like the TSA to me…

gaius on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

I’m inclined to agree with you, except if a flaw in the security was found, they certainly would find a treasure trove. It would be interesting to see if any records were missing, although they would probably just take pictures of them so as to not draw suspicion.

bflat879 on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Are all the victims Repubs?

Washington Nearsider on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

from the sounds of it, yes. I have yet to read anything about any dems being burglarized.

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

what is the dem version of watergate?

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

given their appreciation of OWS? Maybe Urinegate..?

affenhauer on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Eric Holder is expanding his crime wave.

Oil Can on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

If the intent was to steal sensitive information, why steel other stuff and make it obvious you were there?

dont taze me bro on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

You are kidding with this opening line… right?

JohnGalt23 on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Old news.

a capella on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Now they know how the voters feel every single darned day they wake up, open a newspaper and turn to the politics section.

Lily on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

what is the dem version of watergate?

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

A third term.

JohnGalt23 on May 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Just look for people scurrying away with papers stuffed in their socks and pants.

HomeoftheBrave on May 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Congress itself, and currently the WH, are comprised of THE most audacious thieves in history.

dentarthurdent on May 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Are all the victims Repubs?

Washington Nearsider on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

from the sounds of it, yes. I have yet to read anything about any dems being burglarized.

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

In that case, we’re not going to talk about this anymore.

/msm

Washington Nearsider on May 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM

All the victims were Republicans. Someone on another site suggested the break-ins could be a cover for planting listening devices. Watergate?

magicbeans on May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Alcohol in the offices. Madmen, baby! Why did we stop doing that?

Uncledave on May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Those would have to be some of the more audacious thieves in the history of thievery.

L’audace? You want audacity? I want to see someone break into Columbia and/or Harvard registrars office, and get those grades.

Or, you can do what the NYT does, and just bribe someone in the office to let you look at them.

JohnGalt23 on May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

If the intent was to steal sensitive information, why steel other stuff and make it obvious you were there?

dont taze me bro on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

.
.
Someone in the headlines thread suggested that the intent was not to take something, ultimately, but to leave a bugged office in the aftermath. That’s something to consider.
.
I say, call G. Gordon Liddy in to investigate!

ExpressoBold on May 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Sounds like the TSA to me…

gaius on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Could be. DHS has all but came out and declared anyone who would vote for a President not named Barry Hussein Soetoro is a potential.

wildcat72 on May 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Someone is stealing from congress?

Well, turnabout is fair play.

Akzed on May 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Do you really think they would tell anyone if serious stuff was taken?

Please.

They took my iPod and some booze…but I’m not going to say if my desktop/laptop was hacked.

budfox on May 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Gosh, maybe it was that clandestine RINO patrol that did it?

Don L on May 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

ExpressoBold on May 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Ya, that’s possible, too. But still…why draw attention to your presence?

dont taze me bro on May 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Were there no security cameras in the hallways outside of these offices?

multiuseless on May 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Apparently there is no honor among thieves.

Greg Toombs on May 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

First impression? The important thefts are the computer equipment, especially if it has sensitive data and/or passwords saved on it, and the rest of the thefts are to muddy the water a bit.

Granted, the alcohol could have been stolen by Sheila Jackson-Lee’s staffers to throw a party on a day where the unruly beyotch was out of the office…

teke184 on May 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I feel as if I’ve been robbed every single day. Welcome to the club.

BTW, if the offices of congress can’t be secured then why should I trust the feds to secure the national borders effectively.

Bishop on May 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

what is the dem version of watergate?

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

doesnt matter. it would never be covered. you’d never hear about it. so it never happened. like solyndra…and F&F….and..and…

t8stlikchkn on May 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This is Eric Holder’s Operation Gassed and Curious key-smuggling to DC street gangs…

cartooner on May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

If the intent was to steal sensitive information, why steel other stuff and make it obvious you were there?

dont taze me bro on May 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

To mask your intent. If the only things missing are computers and files, the intent to steal information is obvious. If certain pricey knick knacks go missing, it makes it look more like a random crime.

The office of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was hit. The office of committee member Gowdy was hit. This is probably just crazy speculation, but…could Fast and Furious have anything to do with this?

steebo77 on May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

or, are the street-value items perhaps just a red herring for something more… pernicious?

I’m going for this. You don’t take sensitive documents, just take pictures of them with your smart phone. Take the baseballs as a misdirection.

rbj on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security

Big Sis?

the House Oversight and Reform Committee

Stedman Holder?

steebo77 on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Wait – we put Jerry Lewis in the House?

connertown on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Maybe the thefts are cover for people cloning HD’s or breaking into the system to get confidential emails, documents, etc.

It would seem very risky to break into Congressional offices to steal a baseball…

Nethicus on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

James McCord and John Ehrlichman were absolutely unavailable for comment.

Rixon on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I’m going for this. You don’t take sensitive documents, just take pictures of them with your smart phone. Take the baseballs as a misdirection.

rbj on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Yup.

steebo77 on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This is probably just crazy speculation, but…could Fast and Furious have anything to do with this?

steebo77 on May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

My first thought also.

Flora Duh on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

But where’s Lee Jordan Giddy?

Rixon on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Those would have to be some of the more audacious thieves in the history of thievery.

Maybe not. We are talking about our hypocritical leaders after all. They who support all types of regulation, intrusion and surveillance of us rubes, but not for themselves. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if there is a standing order in the Capital Building that there be absolutely no surveillance equipment of any sort used in places our honest and forthright betters most frequent.

NotCoach on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Wait – we put Jerry Lewis in the House?

connertown on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

“HaHAha nice lady!”

teke184 on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I’m craving this for some reason. Scandal-free 0bama? You suuuuure about that?

Sekhmet on May 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

…why just Republicans?

KOOLAID2 on May 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I’m going for this. You don’t take sensitive documents, just take pictures of them with your smart phone. Take the baseballs as a misdirection.

rbj on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

At least that’s how they did it in every spy movie I’ve ever seen.

Except in the old ones they would use small cameras…

wildcat72 on May 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I think more representatives should be sleeping in their offices. This would cut down on the thefts…. and what we need to pay for their housing.

LoganSix on May 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Anyone see my Eric Holder-Swiss Army lock pick set?

Rixon on May 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

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

Bishop on May 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

maintenance crew

GarandFan on May 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

There are no security cameras in the House office buildings, as far as I know. There are security guards at all the entrances 24/7 though, so this almost has to be an inside job.

rockmom on May 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

thieves stealing thieves…

nathor on May 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

1972: Deep Throat
2012: Big Stick

RedRedRice on May 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM

What exactly is the street value of Presidential Easter eggs?

Seriously, as far as Congress is concerned, it really isn’t theft unless it comes with crushing debt for future generations.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Would it be bannably-racist to suggest that the cleaning personnel, who is almost exclusively black in DC, could be behind the crime?

Archivarix on May 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I’m going for this. You don’t take sensitive documents, just take pictures of them with your smart phone. Take the baseballs as a misdirection.

rbj on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

A “pro” thief who was after information or bugging wouldn’t steal anything. They’d want to get in and out with no trace they were there. This sounds like a grabby janitor — exactly the kind of stuff we had missing in our office until we found out which one of the cleaning staff had been making extra $ by selling stuff on the side.

AngusMc on May 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Desperation confirmed.

OldEnglish on May 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Jon Runyan is a recently retired Pro-Bowl right tackle from the Philadelphia Eagles. He should deal with the perpetrators personally.

PennsylvaniaPainTrain on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Has anyone checked in on WILLIAM JEFFERSON, DEMOCRAT,
LOUISIANA lately??

ToddPA on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Those would have to be some of the more audacious thieves in the history of thievery.

KARMA for congress.

WhatNot on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

a $200 set of presidential Easter eggs.

WTF?

trigon on May 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM

a $200 set of presidential Easter eggs.

At least they didn’t get the $400 Supreme Court shot glasses.

trigon on May 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

A “pro” thief who was after information or bugging wouldn’t steal anything. They’d want to get in and out with no trace they were there. This sounds like a grabby janitor — exactly the kind of stuff we had missing in our office until we found out which one of the cleaning staff had been making extra $ by selling stuff on the side.

AngusMc on May 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM

There could be another angle: INTIMIDATION.

If Holder or Big Sis were breaking into Republican congressional offices looking for dirt or trying to see how much dirt THEY have on them, the petty thefts could be their way of “showing them” that no one who DARES oppose Emperor Hussein can be safe in person or property…

wildcat72 on May 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

a $200 set of presidential Easter eggs.

At least they didn’t get the $400 Supreme Court shot glasses.

trigon on May 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Those are worth more than $400… they’re the ones from Breyer’s initiation, where he walked across the room with a cherry between his butt cheeks and dropped them in the glass.

teke184 on May 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

They’re not burgling Democrat offices out of professional courtesy.

RadClown on May 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Misdirection?

If you assume someone will eventually be caught, they’ll be charged with stealing those things. Nobody will wonder about what (classified information?) was in the office next door that didn’t “appear” to be burgled. They’ll be focused on the offices someone obviously broke into that didn’t have sensitive information.

Or maybe I’ve been reading too many spy novels…

taznar on May 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Well, either it’s incredibly bold but stupid thieves who work on Capitol Hill and who would risk harsh punishment to steal random stuff, or it’s thieves who know they have cover to go in and get certain sensitive info.

If it’s the first, it’s bold stupid thieves.

If it’s the second, then there’s a conspiracy to obtain sensitive info.

The dots are easily connected. Look at which current scandal involves info that might be found in one or two of the burgled offices.

The other offices were burgled as cover. This was the modus operandi in the passport files burglaries, in which Clinton’s and McCain’s files were rifled to hide the seek-and-destroy mission for 0bama’s passport records.

Gowdy is involved in Fast and Furious.
Which other scandals might he or the other burgled Congressmen have sensitive info on, worth something as bold as burgling congressional offices?

This could be Watergate, folks. The question is – was the info stolen to help Holder or 0bama – or both?

cane_loader on May 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Aren’t these offices protected by state of the art video surveillance, motion detection and alarm equipment? Are there no guards?

How is it possible this could happen in a building where a great deal of sensitive data may be held?

Can some intrepid thief make off with national defense or treasury data?

WOW. What the devil is going on down there?

dogsoldier on May 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

The question is – was the info stolen to help Holder or 0bama – or both?

cane_loader on May 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Even if it was stolen to help them, are they competent enough to use it correctly?

Barry, like his buddies running the phone bank in Gaza, hasn’t missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

teke184 on May 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Take the baseballs as a misdirection.

rbj on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

..leave the gun; take the cannolis.

The War Planner on May 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Has anyone checked in on WILLIAM JEFFERSON, DEMOCRAT,
LOUISIANA lately??

ToddPA on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Check his freezer!

Brat on May 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

They really should have snapped an ankle bracelet on Sandy Berger when they had the chance.

de rigueur on May 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Guarantee you it was Queen Sheila.

bernverdnardo1 on May 17, 2012 at 11:29 AM

They really should have snapped an ankle bracelet on Sandy Berger when they had the chance.

de rigueur on May 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM

ALRIGHT EVERYONE FREEZE!! SOCK CHECK!!

mechkiller_k on May 17, 2012 at 11:29 AM

This sounds like a plot for a National Treasure sequel.

One way or another, I don’t see how this is not an inside job.

J.E. Dyer on May 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

All the victims are Republicans…hmmmm…what is the Obama Office of Dirty Tricks up to? Has anyone checked Sandy Berger’s pants lately?

When will we hear “I am not a crook”?

Since Woodward and Bernstein are unavailable for comment, we’ll just have to ask Deep Throat what’s going on…

Steve Z on May 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Maybe Lindsay Lohan teamed up with Winona Ryder.

Those bisses can steal some bling!

cane_loader on May 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Were there no security cameras in the hallways outside of these offices?

multiuseless on May 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM

That was my first thought, but then I realized that they probably don’t want a video record of who comes and goes from these offices.

TugboatPhil on May 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM

ToddPA on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Believe it or not, William Jefferson has yet to serve a day in jail of his 13-year sentence.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Isn’t this like the drug dealer calling the cops saying someone stole his stash? Don’t take the bate people, this is all “wag the dog” stuff. Stay focused. This is all distraction, diversion, and denial. Focus.

Molonlabe2004 on May 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Surely there are cameras all around the offices.(?)
I think you look like you are after nebulous items, but what you really are after are the codes, secrets etc.
How could it be anything but an inside job?!

Bambi on May 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This was staged to make it look like the Dems did it. We know the Dems are morally righteous individuals, everyone of them.
Time to take my Lithium now./

askwhatif on May 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

a $200 set of presidential Easter eggs.

Check Craig’s List.

askwhatif on May 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

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.

and this may rankle some people, but odds are it’s going to be a young relative of one of the liberal urban congressmen on the hill. They’ve grown up being told they’re entitled, they’ve been told since birth their job is to “stick it to the man”, and now that their daddy or whoever has got them inside the capitol they think they’re bulletproof. No one likes to say this out loud, but if you’re doing honest profiling, that’s who you’re looking for.

and they probably are bulletproof. Every republican with an office needs to set up 24 hour surveillance video stat, since the Capitol Police sure aren’t gonna touch Jesse Jackson’s grandnephew. Chances are they’re already taking a payoff to ignore whats happening, although with the Capitol Police, it’s hard to know which is the main driver – greed, sloth, or just sheer incompetence.

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

Believe it or not, William Jefferson has yet to serve a day in jail of his 13-year sentence.

Happy Nomad on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Every day with Hillary is a day served.

askwhatif on May 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

And todays most awesome and succinct post award goes to……

Apparently there is no honor among thieves.

Greg Toombs on May 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

RedLizard64 on May 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

This is probably just crazy speculation, but…could Fast and Furious have anything to do with this?

steebo77 on May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

My first thought also.

Flora Duh on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Yeah, as soon as I saw Trey Gowdy’s name there… and with the thugs we have in power, why would I not think it?

Eren on May 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

BTW, if the offices of congress can’t be secured then why should I trust the feds to secure the national borders effectively.

Bishop on May 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Well, as long as they refuse to secure our borders effectively, why should they expect that their offices should be secure when they leave at night? And they’re shocked at how gun and ammo sales have spiked in recent years?

Harbingeing on May 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM

magicbeans on May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I hadn’t ever considered that. I hope the victims aren’t as gullible as I am.

Cindy Munford on May 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Only Republican offices? I don’t believe in coincidences when it comes to politics.

ronsfi on May 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

You mean they’re so stupid they didn’t even hit a single Democrat office to provide cover?

DFCtomm on May 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

If they were all (D)s, as opposed to all (R)s, the MSM would be all !!!eleventy!!! about
“Koch brothers plant!” or “Obviously Rupert Murdoch involved!”

eeyore on May 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Finally, an “honest” thief in Congress!

Michael K. on May 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM

“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?” – E.J.

Viscerally, most of us want to see “dirty tricks” ala “CREEP”, but intellectually we should wait for the incompetent House lackeys to “investigate”. This will probably be drawn out well past the Election and involve a wee bit more than meets the eye. It will be entertaining though!
But, we have time … So does Rep. Issa.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

askwhatif on May 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

True, but the wrong William Jefferson.

Cindy Munford on May 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Time to put a couple hunter cams inside the offices.

ProfShadow on May 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

what is the dem version of watergate?

upinak on May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

At ease, soldier! What is “at ease, soldier”? What is ease?

blammm on May 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

As a former staffer, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a cleaning crew. Seems unlikely to be a staffer (because they don’t have access to any office but their own.) It could be a maintenance crew.

Generally, the cleaning folks would come in my office when people were still there. They were very nice, but, a new hire could be less trustworthy.

bomble on May 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

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