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Hecht's laptop reported stolen

September 13, 2002

laurae@herald-mail.com

Someone broke into Del. Sue Hecht's state Senate campaign headquarters overnight Wednesday and stole a laptop computer containing privileged information about her supporters.

Even before Hecht's campaign issued a press release about the break-in, her opponent called on anyone with knowledge about the crime to immediately turn it over to police.

"Anyone who broke into Sue Hecht's headquarters not only committed a crime, but they also committed an assault on democracy. That they did it on Sept. 11 is even more horrific," said Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

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Hecht campaign manager Sue Tuckwell said Frederick Police were investigating the crime, which occurred between 9 p.m. Wednesday and early Thursday. The officer who took the report could not be reached Thursday night.

Tuckwell said the burglar scaled the roof of 49 S. Carroll St. in Frederick and opened a skylight with a drill stolen from a truck in the parking lot.

The person wound through a maze of offices to reach Hecht's campaign headquarters on the first floor, which was locked, she said.

The only thing missing from the building was the campaign's laptop computer, Tuckwell said. Other valuables, including a television and VCR, were bypassed, she said.

Whoever broke in left through the front door of the building, leaving it unlocked, she said.

Tuckwell sent out a press release about the incident Thursday evening, a few hours after Mooney's statement was released.

Erin DeLullo, Mooney's campaign manager, said the senator learned about the break-in earlier in the day from a radio reporter.

The laptop contained names and addresses of supporters in the Democrat's bid to take the District 3 Senate seat away from Mooney. The computer also was used to access an America Online account, the password of which has been changed, Tuckwell said.

Police took pictures at the office and dusted for fingerprints, Tuckwell said.

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