Early Sunday morning, thieves broke into the Nob Hill campaign office of mayoral hopeful David Chiu and stole thousands of dollars in computer equipment.
Staffers say they were working in the office until around midnight. Around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, they returned from campaigning when they found the headquarters in disarray. A computer was stolen, but it wasn't clear what else was taken.
A police representative said there were signs of forced entry into the office but declined further comment citing an ongoing investigation.
While campaign officials confirmed the burglars accessed confidential campaign materials--a number of files were taken from cabinets around the office and left scattered on the floor--police said there's no evidence at present suggesting the robbery is in any way connected to this Tuesday's election.
"If this was a politically motivated attempt to distract the Chiu for Mayor campaign on the eve of Election Day, it has failed miserably," Nicole Derse, Chiu's campaign manager, said in a statement to The Bay Citizen. "David and our team of volunteers are as determined as ever to get our message out to San Franciscans in these last hours before voters go to the polls."
An early front-runner, Chiu has since had some difficulty finding a large constituency as the long-time progressive has tacked to the center over the course of the campaign. Despite gaining the high-profile endorsement of the San Francisco Chronicle, a recent Bay Citizen poll predicted the Board of Supervisors President to be one of the first major candidates eliminated in instant runoff voting--only City Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and venture capitalist Joanna Rees would be eliminated prior to Chiu.