Despite the building’s high levels of security, New Haven’s Federal Courthouse was broken into last weekend.
At least one burglar entered the courthouse through a second-story window after scaling nearby construction scaffolding, but the burglary did not extend past a room on the second floor. A wall-mounted television was stolen from the small, second-floor gymnasium, which is used by the U.S. Marshals Service employees. The courthouse is located just two blocks from Yale’s Old Campus, across the New Haven Green. Neither the U.S. Marshals Service nor the NHPD had released any information concerning suspects in the case as of Wednesday night.
“We’ve never had a break-in since I’ve been in the district,” said acting Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Taylor, who has worked in New Haven since 2002.
The break-in this weekend is the courthouse’s first in 14 years since Taylor started working in New Haven.
The burglary did not trigger the courthouse’s security alarm system, and the building’s employees discovered the intrusion when they came to work on Monday morning, Taylor said. Shortly after, authorities began an investigation, but Taylor said he could not give further details.
State and local authorities are investigating the crime scene, as the courthouse falls under the jurisdiction of the state government. New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Taylor added that the courthouse has increased its security in the wake of the burglary.
The burglars circumvented the courthouse’s rigorous metal detectors that prevent visitors from bringing electronic devices into the building. But the intruders were prevented from further penetrating the courthouse because the gymnasium area is secured by doors with coded locks, Taylor said. The building contains some sensitive court files, but the burglars did not access them.
Still, Taylor said the break-in is worrisome, according to the Hartford Courant.
“I am concerned,” Taylor told the Courant on Tuesday. “If somebody gets into our building, it is a problem and we are addressing it.”
The scaffolding that facilitated the burglary was erected by a windowpane company along two walls of the courthouse. The scaffolding remains standing, and Taylor told the News he did not know how long the windowpane company intends to keep the scaffolding there.
The New Haven courthouse was converted from a post office, and currently houses the court clerk’s office, the U.S. Marshals Service and judges.