Amid a heated battle for Arizona governorship, Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs is alleging that her opponent, Republican Kari Lake, is behind a recent burglary of her Phoenix campaign office.
Phoenix police say the incident in question occurred on Monday night.
A suspect, now identified as Daniel Mota Dos Reis, 36, allegedly broke into Hobbs’ campaign office and stole an Apple computer mouse, an Apple keyboard and a black Nikon camera.
Police said that the keyboard and mouse belonged to a staff member, and the camera belonged to the Democratic Governors’ Association. The items were worth around $1180, KOLD-TV reported.
The staff member called police the following day after realizing the items were missing.
Police arrived at the building on Tuesday at around 2 p.m. local time and reviewed security footage from the night before.
A photo of the suspect was released publicly and on Thursday a Phoenix officer identified him as Reis, who had already been arrested that day for the burglary of another business.
Reis is facing charges of one count of third-degree burglary, according to KOLD-TV.
Hobb’s campaign spoke of the burglary in a Wednesday statement, claiming that her Republican challenger incited the break-in by “spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats” against her.
“Earlier this week, a break-in occurred at our campaign headquarters. We continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate, and we are thankful to the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department for their work to keep us safe,” Hobbs’ campaign said in the statement.
“Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign. Throughout this race, we have been clear that the safety of our staff and of the Secretary is our number one priority.”
“Let’s be clear: for nearly two years Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit,” they said.
“The threats against Arizonans attempting to exercise their constitutional rights and their attacks on elected officials are the direct result of a concerted campaign of lies and intimidation.”
Her campaign added, “It won’t work. Katie is running for governor to ensure the safety and security of every Arizona family. She will win this race.”
Beyond this statement, Hobbs and her campaign have not explained their reasoning for claiming Lake was responsible for this specific incident.
Hobbs has also refused to comment further on the matter when pressed.
The Arizona Democratic Party responded to Hobbs’ remarks, furthering the claim that Lake was behind the break-in.
“Unfortunately, Katie and so many other elected officials are victims of threats and intimidation tactics like this. Make no mistake — this is a direct result of Kari Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate and inciting violence — and it is despicable,” the party said on Twitter.
Lake responded to allegations after a Wednesday event, comparing Hobbs to actor Jussie Smollett, who became infamous for allegedly faking a hate crime.
“That is absolutely absurd. It sounds like a Jussie Smollett part two. You’re going to drag the people through something like this,” Lake told a CNN reporter, according to the Washington Examiner.
“You’re letting a woman who has been running a terrible campaign direct you to a story like this? You know she is running a bad campaign,” Lake said.
“I can’t believe that she would blame my amazing people or blame me for something like that,” Lake added. “I don’t even know where her campaign office is. I’m assuming it’s in a basement somewhere, because that’s where she’s been campaigning.”
She continued, “I’m saddened that Hobbs and her camp would try to pin this on us. It’s defamatory and it’s wrong. Her own party is attacking her. She is trying to deflect her abysmal campaign.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AZ CENTRAL
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