Burglar strikes Cross Keys home of NAACP leader Schedules taken from apartment

September 27, 1993|By Joan Jacobson and Gregory P. Kane | Joan Jacobson and Gregory P. Kane,Staff Writers

BALTIMORE -- The Cross Keys home of NAACP Executive Director Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. was burglarized last week while he and his wife, Martha, were out of town, city police said.

Police said Mrs. Chavis called police at 10:45 p.m. Friday, after she returned home to find that the front door had been forced open at the couple's apartment on Hamill Court in the North Baltimore community.

Mrs. Chavis told police that papers had been disturbed on the second floor, although she was not sure if anything was missing.

Reached by a reporter at Cross Keys last night, Dr. Chavis said several NAACP papers were missing from his apartment -- among them his schedules.

"I don't know why anyone would steal my schedules," Dr. Chavis said. "I have a very detailed schedule that takes me throughout the nation. But most of my schedule is public notice anyway. My main concern is that someone now has advance notice of where I'll be."

Dr. Chavis said he has received death threats since he assumed the leadership of the 84-year-old civil rights organization and moved to Baltimore this year. Asked how many threats had been made, Dr. Chavis would not give a specific number but said there had been several.

But he was quick to say he saw no link between the threats and the break-in. He said he was "trying to play the incident down," and was "surprised that something like this [the break-in] could happen."

"Right now, I'm just treating it as an act of random intimidation," said the 45-year-old former chairman of the Commission for Racial Justice of the United Church of Christ.

Across the country, branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have been placed on security alert because of bombings at branch offices in California and Washington state in July.

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