Phoenix Police announced an arrest on Thursday in a burglary at the gubernatorial campaign headquarters of Arizona’s current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), a lightning rod for threats and harassment since she defended against attacks on the 2020 presidential election.
The suspect, 36-year-old Daniel Mota Dos Reis, is the man that police say they spotted on surveillance video after receiving a call about the break-in on Tuesday.
“When officers arrived, they learned from the reporting party that an unknown man broke into their building the night before and stole multiple items,” the police’s media advisory states.
After seeing the surveillance footage in a news report on Wednesday evening, a patrol officer recognized the man “as a suspect that was arrested earlier in the day for another unrelated commercial burglary,” according to police.
That connection, police say, led them to Mota Dos Reis, who was then still in jail awaiting imminent release.
“The officer contacted the jail and was able to re-arrest Dos Reis,” the media advisory states.
Police provided no information about why the suspect allegedly targeted the campaign headquarters, and it remains unclear whether the alleged crime is connected to Hobbs’s gubernatorial aspirations. For Hobbs, however, the incident had a ring of familiarity, one that the campaign explicitly connected in its statement.
Since former President Donald Trump tried to overturn his defeat in Arizona nearly two years ago, Hobbs reported a barrage of abuse from his supporters. One alleged bomb threat at her office led to an indictment of a Massachusetts resident. Now, as Hobbs is vying for Arizona governor against Trump-loyalist candidate Kari Lake, another crime reportedly has been committed against her: a break-in at her campaign HQ.
The police released few details about the arrest, and did not name the victim by name, in a tweet referring to the incident only by the cross-streets where it took place.
“An arrest has been made regarding a commercial burglary that occurred near Virginia Avenue and Central Avenue on October 25, 2022,” the department tweeted on Thursday. “More information will be released later today.”
Hobbs’s staff did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s text message seeking more details, but her campaign released a lengthy statement.
“Earlier this week, a break-in occurred at our campaign headquarters,” her campaign manager Nicole DeMont wrote. “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 has been outspoken in attributing the barrage of harassment she has received to Trump supporters unhappy about her defense against the former president’s false claims of election fraud. She said in a subsequent interview on Law&Crime’s podcast Objections that those threats ratcheted up again during the so-called “forensic audit” of the election, which ultimately found reaffirmed President Joe Biden’s victory. She successfully defeated every legal challenge by Trump and his allies, who never proved — and in some instances, declined to even allege — fraud in court.
DeMont’s full statement on behalf of the gubernatorial hopeful is below.
“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. 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.
“It won’t work. Katie is running for governor to ensure the safety and security of every Arizona family. She will win this race.”
Detectives say they recovered the stolen items and returned them to the victims. He faces one count of third-degree burglary in connection with this incident.
Update—Oct. 27 at 6:18 p.m. Eastern Time: This story now includes information about the suspect, including his identity, that police released following its initial publication.
[Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images]
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