Burglars busted into mayoral candidate Ron Corbett’s home during the daytime Wednesday, ransacked the place and made off with jewelry, money, a computer, electronics, a couple bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne.
Corbett, who was in Pennsylvania at the time with four of his five children visiting his 90-year-old grandmother, was still trying Thursday to determine with his wife, Benedicte, all that was stolen.
The 48-year-old former state lawmaker said he didn’t know if the burglary was an isolated incident or if it’s a part of an uptick in crime that’s confronting the city. He said he will ask Police Chief Greg Graham about that.
Never a burglary victim before, Corbett noted that Cedar Rapids historically has been a safe, family-friendly community with a good education system and work ethic.
“That’s really been the bedrock of our community,” he said.
It appears, he said, the burglars spent some time inside his house at 321 30th St. SE because they opened every closet and drawer. He said the burglars used his children’s backpacks to carry stolen items from the house. One backpack, partially filled, was left behind, an indication that the burglars got scared away, he said.
The burglars also threw a stack of some 50 red-colored and blue-colored “Ron Corbett for Mayor” T-shirts around one room, so they know now that they burglarized the home of a possible future mayor. Corbett said the T-shirts are intended for campaign backers to wear in Saturday’s Freedom Festival parade.
“They didn’t take any campaign secrets,” said Corbett in a stab of comic relief regarding what he said was an event that had shaken up his wife and made him and his children uneasy.
“My wife comes home and the house is all torn apart. Certainly a part of her feels violated, coming into your home, seeing things in a shambles. It really is kind of unnerving,” he said.
Corbett said he supports Police Chief Graham’s call for opening a police substation on the city’s east side and Corbett said he likes the idea of opening one on the city’s west side, too.
“Whatever we can do to get police in the neighborhoods will help,” he said.
At the same time, Corbett said he has not liked the delay in getting the proposed police substation open at 1501 First Ave. SE. He noted that the city is now hurrying to open a temporary spot in a commercial building a block away after council member Monica Vernon complained about the delay.
“You squawk a little and the city can make some things move,” he said
For now, Corbett said he needs to take care of family matters.
“I’m a victim like anybody else,” he said. “It doesn’t make me a special victim just because I’m running for office.”