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Published: Wednesday, 10/27/2004

Police reach dead end in party HQ burglary probe

With their leads at a dead end, Toledo police yesterday said they have all but closed the breaking-and-entering case earlier this month at Lucas County Democratic Party headquarters.

They have made no arrests, though they questioned one suspect who was arrested in an unrelated case.

Other tips led nowhere, despite a $5,000 reward for information about the break-in, or $1,000 rewards for a no-questions-asked return of the three computers that were stolen during the heist, police investigators said.

Additionally, a local and statewide fingerprint checks turned up nothing.

Though there's a slight chance that a national check of fingerprints left at the scene might yield information, "everything else is dried up," Lt. Mel Stachura said.

The intruder or intruders broke into the headquarters, 1817 Madison Ave., between 11 p.m. Oct. 11 and 7 a.m. Oct. 12.

Taken were the three computers that contained sensitive campaign information, prompting concerns that the intrusion was politically motivated.

However, Lieutenant Stachura and other detectives noted that the intruders had broken a side window with a brick and left several fingerprints - mistakes a political operative most likely would not have made.

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