Police are investigating a break-in and thefts at the Turlock Employment Development Department office, slated for closure later this month.
Someone broke into the North Broadway office early Monday, taking several items and leaving behind a major mess, investigators said. Several computers and monitors were stolen, along with a camera and a car belonging to the state, said California Highway Patrol Officer Chuck Leon. Turlock police took the original report before turning the case over to the CHP, as it involved a state agency.
Bill Youngdale, who owns the building, said it felt like getting kicked a second time, after the state’s announcement in September that it would close the Turlock office Oct.15. The EDD handles unemployment benefits and administers disability insurance and welfare-to-work programs. Residents of Turlock and the surrounding area who need these services will have to go to offices in Modesto or Merced; employees of the Turlock office are being transferred to Modesto.
The break-in occurred sometime from 2 to 5a.m., Leon said. Investigators have not determined whether it was one person or more. Youngdale said access was gained through a window with bars over it that faces an alley.
The thief or thieves went though cabinets, Leon said. In addition to the computer equipment, items stolen included an iPod docking station, a camera and a white Chevrolet Impala. It’s not clear if the computer equipment contained any records or personal information.
“I don’t know at this time what’s on the computers that were stolen,” Leon said. He said the EDD is doing its own report; representatives of the agency have not returned requests for comment.
The thief or thieves also left something behind – feces tracked through the office. Youngdale had a cleaning crew in Tuesday to sanitize the carpeting. He said he hoped the office would reopen today.
Leon said no suspects have been identified.
“Turlock police fingerprinted the area,’ he said. “They’re assisting with forensics.” Police found some fingerprints and will analyze them.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the incident to call the Modesto CHP office at (209)545-7440.