City Hall’s Crime Victims


(Photo: Cityofcalabasas.com)
Underscoring the fact that crime can occur anywhere, the car of a city council aide was broken into at City Hall on the same day earlier this month that Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials stood on the front steps of the building to reveal plans for erecting a temporary jail.

Sometime during the day Jan. 17, an unidentified person smashed a window on the vehicle owned by Tracy Schwetschenau, chief of staff for Councilman Chris Bortz, and stole a Sirius satellite radio while the car was parked in the lot. The same lot is within view of City Hall’s northern windows and is used by Mayor Mark Mallory, all city council members and their staffs. It’s located about two blocks from police headquarters.

Schwetschenau had parked the car there around 7 a.m., just before sunrise. She discovered the theft as she went outdoors later that afternoon. Besides taking the radio, the thief damaged the dashboard console of the 2000 Lexus RX300, all without ever opening the door.

“They didn’t steal a thing other than the radio,” Schwetschenau said. “It’s a random act. It’s a crime of opportunity, and I gave them an opportunity.”

This isn’t the first time that vehicles at City Hall have fallen prey to criminals.

When Phil Heimlich was a city councilman in July 1999, someone broke into his car while it was parked overnight in front of City Hall, within view of the mayor’s and city manager’s offices. Nothing was taken from Heimlich’s 1994 Mercury Capri convertible, but he had to pay about $330 to repair the window.

In December 2001, someone threw a brick through the window of a car owned by Dick Hammersmith, who was Councilman Chris Monzel’s chief of staff at the time.

— Kevin Osborne

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4 Comments on “City Hall’s Crime Victims”

  1. Paul Says:

    Why in God’s name does every member of City Council have a Chief of Staff? How much time can you spend coordinating the activities of people who don’t do anything?

  2. Natasha Says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of Tracy Schwetschenau’s Sirius satellite radio, but would anyone expect this particular parking lot to be exempt from crime?

    I’ll be watching to see if a security guard will be appointed to protect this important parking lot. Hmmmm….

  3. Pathetic Says:

    Hopefully, the bodies in City Hall will turn their lights on & realize this is an every day occurrence in the neighborhoods. People get out to go to work, take the kids to school & find that they’ve been violated, even if nothing was taken. The thief thought there were riches in the plastic grocery bag that was utilized for empty coffee cups & litter.

    This is a headache for many & they’re left to go out of pocket for the repairs because of insurance deductibles, or they do not have that inclusion. Factor in a missed day from work & the family’s budget is shot for weeks.

    Perhaps these City Hall corpses will wake up & get something serious in place. Firmly supporting the police would be a great start.

  4. Not the Mamma Cass! Says:

    Paul Says:

    January 31st, 2007 at 9:54 am
    Why in God’s name does every member of City Council have a Chief of Staff? How much time can you spend coordinating the activities of people who don’t do anything?

    It’s called patronage.

    “When Phil Heimlich was a city councilman in July 1999, someone broke into his car while it was parked overnight in front of City Hall, within view of the mayor’s and city manager’s offices. Nothing was taken from Heimlich’s 1994 Mercury Capri convertible, but he had to pay about $330 to repair the window.”

    Now if Phil had parked within view of the Clerk of Council’s offices, someone might’ve seen what happened since THOSE employees actually work and the “within view” reference would be relevant since the Mayor and CM’s offices clearly were unoccupied at the time, John Shirey’s work ethic notwithstanding.

    “In December 2001, someone threw a brick through the window of a car owned by Dick Hammersmith, who was Councilman Chris Monzel’s chief of staff at the time.”

    I’m guessing THAT wasn’t random. Speaking of dick- does the “Friends of Dick Hammersmith” campaign still exist? He was raising money for something a few years back.


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