Flint Investigates Odd Break-In of Office That Holds Water Files

Files were left strewn around room at City Hall
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2016 2:18 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2016 4:33 AM CDT
Police Chief: Flint Water Burglary Was 'Inside Job'
More than 150 protesters stand outside of Flint's City Hall to protest Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's handling of the water crisis.   (Sean Proctor/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

In what they might be calling "Water-gate" if that name wasn't already taken, authorities are investigating a mysterious break-in at Flint City Hall. In December, somebody broke into the vacant Michigan office where the city's water files were kept, and the city's new police chief tells the Flint Journal that it was "definitely an inside job." It's not clear what was taken from the room, apart from a TV, though documents were strewn around the office. "It was somebody [who] had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what's going on with Flint water," says Chief Tim Johnson.

In the Dec. 28 break-in, no other offices were disturbed. Johnson believes it is no coincidence that the burglary occurred just when the water crisis was heating up—and he finds it very suspicious that whoever took the TV didn't take the cord like a normal burglar would. "The average drug user knows that you'd need the power cord to be able to pawn it," he says. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver also considers the break-in suspicious. State and local police are still investigating, but for now, officials are unable to say what files, if any, may have been taken, reports the Washington Post. (The median home price in Flint has plummeted to $14,000.)

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