The break-in at a Rosslyn high-rise over the weekend would have drawn little attention except for one small detail: It happened at the offices of the Elizabeth Dole for President Exploratory Committee.
Someone entered the Dole headquarters in the 1900 block of North Lynn Street between 4:30 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday and stole a laptop computer, according to Arlington police.
A couple of locks were picked on doors inside the fourth-floor suite. But otherwise there were no similarities to that break-in nearly 27 years ago at the Watergate, police and Dole campaign officials said.
"We get commercial burglaries from time to time in Rossyln in law firms and real estate offices," said Cpl. Justin McNaull, an Arlington police spokesman. "This time it just happened to be campaign headquarters." He said police at this time have no reason to believe that the break-in was politically motivated.
Dole spokesman Ari Fleischer said that the incident "is not a big deal" and that the files on the stolen laptop contained "routine information."
"It appears that Vice President Gore was out of town, so we've crossed him off our suspect list," Fleischer added.
McNaull said the burglar apparently got in by breaking a window, which was accessible by a skywalk. Dole's own office inside the suite "was not breached," said McNaull, who was fielding lots of media calls yesterday about the break-in.
Fleischer said he credits D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams "for doing such a good job. Crime is obviously moving to the suburbs."