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Loo Faces Feb. 10 Court Date

A former senior aide accused of attempting to steal a plasma television from the Rayburn House Office Building is scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court next month.

Thomas Loo, who served as the House Small Business Committee’s chief economist until a few weeks ago, could be charged with first-degree theft if he is indicted at the Feb. 10 pre-trial hearing.

The Bethesda, Md., resident allegedly attempted to steal a plasma television from a Financial Services Committee hearing room Dec. 16. According to court documents the television is valued at more than $4,000.

Following his appearance Friday in D.C. Superior Court before Magistrate Judge J. Dennis Doyle, Loo quickly exited the courtroom and avoided a reporter’s inquiries. His attorney, Henry Schoenfeld, declined to comment on the case.

Although Loo, 47, has been released on personal recognizance pending his trial date, he has been ordered to keep away from the Capitol grounds, including House and Senate office buildings, from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

During the arraignment, Doyle reminded Loo that his release is conditional. “You must not commit any other criminal offense,” the judge said.

According to a Capitol Police memorandum on the incident, Loo was arrested shortly before 10 p.m. on Dec. 16 following a footchase in the Rayburn Building.

The GOP aide was discovered by Daniel McGlinchey, a professional staff member on the Financial Services panel, as he prepared to use a dolly to remove the television from Room 2220, the committee’s overflow hearing room.

In an interview with Roll Call shortly after the incident, McGlinchey said he verbally confronted Loo after realizing the television was missing from the wall where it is mounted.

When Loo began to exit the room, wheeling the dolly toward a nearby elevator, McGlinchey chased the suspect, who then abandoned the television and fled down a staircase to the first floor, the memo states.

According to court documents, at that point the pair crossed paths with several FBI agents and Capitol Police officers who were in the building for a training exercise.

After McGlinchey alerted the officers to the alleged theft, Capitol Police Sgt. Angelo Cimini pursued Loo to the building’s basement level, where he apprehended the suspect.

At the time of Loo’s arrest, the report states officers found “latex gloves, along with two large silver screws and a two black knobs” in the suspect’s pants pocket.

The suspect “was carrying a bag with various tools, prybar, and a roll of packing tape,” the report also states.

A veteran GOP staffer, Loo joined the Small Business Committee in April 2004.

According to a committee aide, Loo resigned from the panel Dec. 17.

Loo earlier spent nine years as a senior economist for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and also served on the House Budget Committee. Loo, who previously worked as a tax consultant at Price Waterhouse, began his Congressional career in 1992 at the Congressional Budget Office.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Loo also holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Duke University.

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