4 laptops stolen from Steele campaign

Burglars hit his office, three other tenants in Annapolis building

November 17, 2005|By DAVID NITKIN AND BRADLEY OLSON | DAVID NITKIN AND BRADLEY OLSON,SUN REPORTERS

Four laptop computers were taken during a burglary at the Annapolis campaign office of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, campaign officials and police said yesterday.

Annapolis police said the burglary at Steele's Senate campaign office was reported about 5 a.m. yesterday.

Leonardo Alcivar, a spokesman for the Republican campaign, said he had no reason to believe that the office was singled out.

"The campaign office was burglarized, as were other tenants in the building," Alcivar said. "We hope and expect law enforcement will investigate. We hope those involved are found and brought to justice. As of now, there is no reason to believe it was anything other than a buildingwide burglary."

Alcivar said he did not believe the computers contained sensitive information.

Carl Tenner, an Annapolis attorney whose family owns the building at 150 South St., said burglars attempted to enter five offices and gained access to four of them, including Steele's.

It is unclear how burglars got into the building, which is across the street from the Anne Arundel County Courthouse, Tenner said. A window to a law office on the ground floor was broken, but the office door was locked from the inside and outside - meaning burglars could not have left from there and gone to other offices, he said.

The Steele computers appear to be the only property of significant value taken, several employees in the building said. The campaign office is unmarked, and sits to the left of the building's main entrance.

The burglary marks the third time in recent months that Steele has been a crime victim.

In September, Steele's state-issued sport utility vehicle parked outside of his Largo townhouse was burglarized, and four cell phones were stolen.

This past summer, workers at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used Steele's Social Security number to illegally obtain his credit report.

Derek Walker, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said he knew nothing of the burglary until being contacted by a reporter.

"I hope they are able to recover every single thing that was missing," Walker said.

City police spokesman Kevin Freeman said only preliminary information about the crime was available, and police have no suspects.

david.nitkin@baltsun.com brad.olson@baltsun.com

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