Report: Truck Containing Obama’s Teleprompter Stolen From Hotel Parking Lot

A Virginia television station is reporting a rather improbable theft:

NBC12 has uncovered one of those stories that makes you think: “How in the world does that happen?!”  A truck filled with President Obama’s podiums and audio equipment was stolen in Henrico just days before his visit to Chesterfield.

We confirmed an investigation with the U.S. Defense Department.  There are still a lot of questions.  The biggest one being did the thieves intentionally target the President’s truck or did they take advantage of a crime of opportunity and give a big “uh-oh” when they saw what was inside.

When you see President Obama speak, there is a pretty typical setup including the presidential seal on a podium, the see-thru Teleprompter and a portable sound system.

Thieves saw the truck carrying that equipment and couldn’t resist the target.

We’re told the truck was parked at the Virginia Center Commons Courtyard Marriott in advance on Wednesday’s presidential visit to Chesterfield.

Sources said inside that vehicle was about $200,000 worth of sound equipment, several podiums and presidential seals, behind which only the President himself can stand.

Obviously, this is advance material and not the only material of its kind in existence. Nonetheless, it does lead one to wonder — do they really just leave a truck filled with stuff like this in a Marriott Parking Lot?

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Crime, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.


  1. rodney dill says:

    If it can be stolen, it presumably can be tampered with, including actions detrimental to the health of the President or those in his immediate vicinity. Probably this would be mitigated as the Secret Service would check the environment after each set up, and not be as concerned in between times.
    Still a break down in security somewhere.

  2. @rodney dill:

    Yea I had the same thought. The Secret Service likely does sweep everything before POTUS arrives. Nonetheless, one would think that they’d treat something like this with a little more care than a load of Twinkees headed for the local Safeway

  3. Franklin says:

    In before the lame teleprompter jokes.

  4. legion says:

    do they really just leave a truck filled with stuff like this in a Marriott Parking Lot?

    Well, if there’s going to be an address at a Marriott later on, where else would they put it? It takes time to set up, so it’s got to be there in advance. And since it’s not classified data (and probably doesn’t have big signs saying ‘POTUS Goodies’ on the side), there’s no real reason to do a lot over & above “normal” security in the area… This seems like more of a black eye for Marriott than the Secret Service.

  5. do they really just leave a truck filled with stuff like this in a Marriott Parking Lot?

    As opposed to what?