The Montrose post office box used by U.S. Rep. James Rogan (R-Glendale) for campaign donations was broken into over the weekend, postal officials said Monday.
It was not immediately known if any checks were stolen, but Rogan's campaign manager said the box could have contained up to $10,000 worth of checks, based on the typical flow of donations, and that the apparent theft could be a "politically motivated" crime.
Rogan's locked mailbox was one of about seven that were pried open and left empty over the weekend, postal authorities said.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said there was no sign of any political motives.
Jason Roe, Rogan's campaign manager, said much of the $4.6 million raised by the congressman over the last 18 months has passed through the box.
"It seems to me too much of a coincidence that ours would be one of the several" boxes pried open, Roe said. "It is a possibility that this is politically motivated," he said.
Roe said he was not suggesting that the campaign of Rogan's challenger, state Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), had a role in the break-in.
"It could be someone that hates Rogan," Roe said. "It could be someone that loves Schiff. It could be anarchists who hate politicians."
Parke Skelton, Schiff's campaign consultant, declined to comment.
The Rogan campaign receives $20,000 to $70,000 in donation checks at the box each week, Roe said. So he said the loss of one day's mail could be as large as $10,000.
Moyra Wright, a Rogan field representative, last picked up the mail Friday, Roe said. When she returned Monday morning, the door had been jimmied open.
Terry Thome, a spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service in Pasadena, said a customer noticed the open boxes Sunday afternoon and flagged down a passing county sheriff's squad car.
Thome declined to comment on whether investigators had a suspect, saying, "We're following up on any leads and tips we receive."
Any stolen checks would be difficult for a thief to cash, but the loss of potential donations could be a handicap for the campaign.
The U.S. Postal Service offers rewards of as much as $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of a mail thief. Tips can be called in to (626) 405-1200.