Terry Beech’s Liberal campaign in North Burnaby just took a $10,000 hit.
A thief or thieves raided the office, either last night or early this morning, stealing thousands of dollars of equipment, and they seemed prepared for the job.
“Somebody with some equipment came in and busted down one of the doors and stole a bunch of electronics,” Beech said. “It was very obvious it was a professional job. It was hard to get into. They came in with tools and got through some very serious anti-theft stuff. We’re talking big bars on the doors and bolts. Someone probably spent some time doing it and preparing to do it.”
Beech said the missing items cost roughly $10,000, and the thief or thieves took mostly computers and a camera. Beech explained that staff contact information may have been on the computers, but there was no bulk data with details on voters or Liberals supporters that could pose privacy concerns, because most of the information the office used was stored remotely in the Cloud.
On the stolen equipment was a special recorded video message from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, specifically for the Burnaby North-Seymour riding. That footage is now lost, along with some video recordings for policy announcements.
As for suspects, Beech said it could be anyone looking for cash.
“Apparently campaign offices are a regular target. We went and talked to all the other candidates and advised them what had happened to us,” Beech said. “We talked to everybody to make sure they were aware it happened so they could take extra precautions.”
Beech said the police visited the office to investigate, but no one from the Burnaby RCMP returned our calls.
“There’s still a chance we’re going to catch these people because there are lots of cameras around,” Beech said.
Beech was disappointed by the break-in.
“There are 48 days left until the election. We’ve got to stay focused on that, but it’s disappointing this kind of stuff happens,” he said. “We’re fundraising anyway. It’s a setback, but the fact is we have a really good support base. … It’s not going to slow us down.”