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Posted at 09:22 PM ET, 04/18/2012

2 computers stolen from D.C. Auditor’s office

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bruce Johnson’s name.

Two laptop computers were stolen Monday afternoon from the office of the D.C. Auditor, which investigates allegations of waste, fraud and abuse in District government.

 Yolanda Branche, the auditor, confirmed in an interview Wednesday evening that items in the office in the 700 block of 14th Street NW went missing Monday.

 Branche declined to specify what was taken, saying she did not want to hamper the ongoing police investigation. But a police report indicates that two Dell laptops were reported stolen.

 WUSA-TV reporter Bruce Johnson first reported news of the break-in Wednesday evening.

 According to the police report, someone  “entered the location by prying open several interior doors and then stole the listed property.” An employee of the office, who asked not to be identified, said in an interview the theft was discovered Tuesday morning.

 Neither Branche nor council officials would comment on whether any sensitive information was contained in the computers. The D.C. Auditor is the investigative arm of the D.C. Council.

Blanche’s office is currently working on about two dozen investigations, ranging from a review of snow removal at city buildings to a probe of how former council member Harry Thomas Jr. was able to steal $300,000 through Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation grants. 

 “There is always reason to be concerned when any document or any information is removed without proper authorization,” Branche said.

 Branche said both D.C. police and Protective Services, which guards city buildings, are investigating the matter. Neither agency was immediately able to comment.

 Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) issued a statement calling the break-in a “serious matter,” but declined further comment except to say he is in “contact” with Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier..

 Other city officials said Branche’s investigations may not have been hampered by the theft because city files are usually backed up on the network.

 Clarence Williams contributed to this report.

By and  |  09:22 PM ET, 04/18/2012

 
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