Elijah Cummings confirms burglary attempt, says he scared off intruder by 'yelling'
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., confirmed Friday that an apparent burglar tried to break into his Baltimore house last weekend -- but said he "scared the intruder away by yelling."
“An individual attempted to gain entry into my residence at approximately 3:40 AM on Saturday, July 27. I was notified of the intrusion by my security system, and I scared the intruder away by yelling before the person gained entry into the residential portion of the house,” the chairman of the House Oversight Committee said in a statement, thanking the Baltimore Police Department for their response.
The incident was first reported on Thursday, coming amid the feud between Cummings and President Trump over the president's criticism of Cummings for conditions and crime rates in Baltimore -- an attack he amplified during an Ohio rally.
The president also mentioned the break-in in a brief tweet Friday morning, saying "Too bad!"
Local police had confirmed the burglary to Fox News earlier Thursday.
Authorities say it is unclear whether anything was taken from the property, which is located northwest of downtown Baltimore and the city's Inner Harbor.
Fox News was initially told that the congressman was not at the property at the time of the break-in -- though Cummings' subsequent statement indicates he was. Sources say the break-in occurred in a part of the property that Cummings rents out, not the part of the property where he resides.
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The break-in came about four hours before Trump set off a firestorm in the media by deriding Cummings’ district as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."
“If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,” Trump tweeted. The two have feuded for months over Cummings' investigations into the president.
Congressional security officials are investigating whether the break-in was a random crime or if there is a threat "nexus" tied to Cummings due to Trump's comments. However, a source with knowledge of the investigation told Fox News there was "no skullduggery" when asked if the break-in had any relation to the president's remarks -- which came after the incident.
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Fox News has obtained a memo sent to House offices the day before the break-in regarding Congressional security over the August recess. The memo from House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving reminds lawmakers of "the significance of maintaining an enhanced security awareness in your district."
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"Members and staff should always remain vigilant of their surroundings and immediately report anything unusual or suspicious to the relevant law enforcement or police entity," Irving wrote. "I also recommend a notification to the USCP [U.S. Capitol Police] or my office so that we may coordinate any review with the relevant law enforcement agency."
Anyone with information about the break-in at Cummings' property is asked to contact 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
Fox News' Ashley Cozzolino contributed to this report