U.S. Capitol Police are not linking a former aide to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who was arrested last week for allegedly stealing cash from a congressional office building to a string of thefts from congressional offices last year. The investigation into those thefts remains open.
The arrest Thursday of Javier Sanchez, 37, of Virginia on a misdemeanor theft charge that applies when less than $1,000 has allegedly been stolen--came to light Monday. He has served as a senior legislative assistant to the congresswoman, but her spokesman, Dan Kotman, said, "the person in question is no longer with the office."
Capitol Police reported the investigation leading to Sanchez's arrest was prompted by reports of thefts occurring in the Rayburn House Office Building. NBC Washington has described an affidavit as describing those thefts as occurring in February and March from Bachmann's office. According to the station, Sanchez was later caught in a police sting operation involving a hidden camera and two envelopes of cash placed in the office, one marked "petty cash" on one desk and another "birthday money" on another. Money from both envelopes was reported missing on June 25, the station reported.
National Journal has learned police are not tying Sanchez to the rash of unsolved thefts or break-ins into several lawmakers' and committee offices in Rayburn and the Cannon House Office Building, dating from the spring of 2012. In those cases, items stolen were high in street value. Computer monitors, cameras, and cash were taken most frequently; other items included blazers, personal iPods, and, in three cases, alcohol. Also reported lost were bottles of wine and signed baseballs, as well as presidential Easter eggs. In at least four cases, thieves broke into the offices during the evening while doors were locked.
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