Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) seems to be taking the recent burglary of his downtown Detroit office in stride.
"I've had my personal residence broken into when I used to live over on the east side," Clarke, who was born and raised in Detroit, told The Huffington Post. "I just don't want to discourage other businesses from locating in Detroit. We're going to identify who these people are and then bring them to justice."
Two men broke into his office at 400 Monroe St. around 5:50 p.m. last Wednesday, according to police. Clarke said the burglars rifled through files and took thousands of dollars in equipment, including laptops, camcorders and a Blackberry phone, from the office. He also said the men ransacked the office of his district director, but didn't touch a wallet and checkbook that had been left there. Congressional staffers discovered the break-in Thursday morning after noticing that a door was ajar and its lock had apparently been jimmied.
Clarke said his office, which shares a building with Fishbone's restaurant and several offices and retail shops in the city's Greektown district, appears to be the only one burglarized that evening. He isn't ruling out a politically motivated break-in. Last week he told the Hill that no sensitive congressional information seemed to have been stolen.
Images from the incident were caught on surveillance video. Clarke believes the video images are clear enough for police to identify the two individuals responsible for the break-in. Noting that the two burglars seemed to be African Americans, he also reflected on the social circumstances that can contribute to this sort of criminal activity.
"It appears the suspects may be young black men," he said, "and that just underscores why we've got to do everything we can to help save our young black men starting with literacy, and mentoring and supporting them so they can graduate from school -- as opposed to what's happening right now [where] many of our young men just drop out of school and end up going to prison directly."
The Hill reports that U.S. Capitol Police are working with Detroit's police department to investigate the burglary.
Congressman Clarke ran for re-election this past year in a newly redrawn district, but lost in the primary to fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.