Governor Tom Vilsack says he will “personally” investigate this weekend’s security breach at Terrace Hill, the state-owned governor’s mansion in Des Moines. At about 5:15 on Saturday morning, Jess Vilsack’s 2004 Toyota Corolla was stolen from Terrace Hill. Jess, the governor’s oldest son, is working in the Polk County Attorney’s office and staying with his folks while he looks for a place to live.
The car thief drove the car across the street and crashed it into a building. He or she then fled on foot and hasn’t been caught. Radio Iowa asked Governor Vilsack about the incident this (Monday) morning. “It would be accurate to say I’m not very happy about that circumstance,” Vilsack said. Vehicle access into the driveway at Terrace Hill is restricted by cross-bars and there are sensors on the grounds surrounding the mansion to detect when there’s movement indicating a person is walking where they should not be.
Vilsack says he and his wife, Christie, have taken steps to open Terrace Hill to the public and encourage Iowans to take tours, and the governor says they aren’t backing away from that. “But we are going to take a look at what happened Saturday morning and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Vilsack says. The governor calls it a “serious” breach of security at the governor’s mansion. “I’m personally going to be involved in asking the tough questions as to why it happened,” he says.
A spokesman for the governor said this weekend that the governor and his family were never in any danger, and referred to the car theft as an “isolated incident.” The Toyota Corolla always makes the list of cars most-often-targeted by thieves.