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Burglary reported at Stoney campaign office in Jackson Ward
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Burglary reported at Stoney campaign office in Jackson Ward

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Richmond police responded to a report of a burglary at the campaign headquarters of Mayor Levar Stoney after a campaign official found the office’s front door broken Tuesday morning.

Several hours after the campaign announced the break-in before noon Tuesday, a police spokeswoman said it occurred overnight and that electronics were stolen from the suite of an office building in the 200 block of East Clay Street.

Kevin Zeithaml, the mayor’s re-election campaign manager, said a 70-inch television in the office is gone, but that no sensitive campaign records, documents or other items of value were taken. He said the office was slightly vandalized with items and campaign materials thrown around the room.

There are no exterior signs indicating that the campaign headquarters is located inside the building. Zeithaml said it’s likely that the culprit entered through a back door with a malfunctioning lock before breaking into the campaign office on the main lobby of the building. A deadbolt at the top of the door was damaged.

Stoney, who is seeking a second term in office, has been subject to intense criticism and protests following his administration’s handling of frequent racial justice demonstrations and the removal of the city’s Confederate monuments this summer. Police Chief Gerald Smith later assigned a special security detail to him after authorities identified “serious, credible and ongoing threats” against him.

The police department did not say whether they suspect the crime was politically motivated. Zeithaml declined to say whether he thinks the office was intentionally targeted.

“While it’s our hope that this crime was not politically motivated, it underscores the need for a more civil political discourse as we close out this election cycle,” Zeithaml said. “On behalf of our team, thank you to the Richmond Police Department for their quick, professional, and thorough response.”

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