Campaign truck stolen from candidate for sheriff Strasdauskas' credit cards, signs, lists missing

October 24, 1998|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

The campaign truck belonging to Anne Strasdauskas, Democratic candidate for Baltimore County sheriff, was stolen late Wednesday night outside a friend's house in Essex. It contained the candidate's volunteer lists, credit cards and 200 lawn signs.

Strasdauskas said she had stopped for 10 minutes at the friend's home in the 200 block of Montrose Ave. at 11: 35 p.m. when she discovered that her black Toyota pickup, fitted with a wood frame carrying three 6-foot "Strasdauskas for Sheriff" signs, had disappeared.

"It had all my election material -- names, addresses, phone numbers, poll workers," said Strasdauskas, who is running against incumbent Republican Norman M. Pepersack Jr. "Now I've got to start from scratch."

A police report said she had left the truck unlocked with the keys on the center console.

"I wasn't going to be there long," said Strasdauskas, explaining why she left the truck unlocked.

The former deputy sheriff said yesterday that the truck was her "office" and that "everything that was me was in my truck," including publicity photographs and clothing that she would change into for campaign appearances.

"I cried this morning, but I've got one foot in the stirrup and I'm about to get back on the horse," she said, adding that as of yesterday, none of the stolen credit cards had been used.

Strasdauskas has been involved in an unusually nasty race for sheriff.

She was fired by Pepersack last year for failing to turn in her radio on time. Last month, she was reinstated by court order -- with 10 months' back pay -- but resigned to run against her former boss.

Strasdauskas said yesterday that she is using the back pay to run her campaign.

This month, the state prosecutor's office conducted a brief inquiry into Pepersack's public release of 11 pending disciplinary charges against Strasdauskas during a campaign interview with Sun reporter. The inquiry ended without a criminal investigation.

Strasdauskas and lawyers for the Fraternal Order of Police subsequently won a temporary court ban preventing Pepersack from releasing more personnel information about Strasdauskas.

The court ban also required the sheriff not to retaliate against his opponent for filing suit against him.

Yesterday, Pepersack said, "I'm sorry about the stolen truck. It's a shame these things happen. I hope it's not another publicity stunt." He refused to elaborate.

Pub Date: 10/24/98

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