MLSC: Thousands of dollars worth of property stolen, damaged in fire


Thousands of dollars worth of property were stolen and damaged during the burglary and fire at the office of Micronesian Legal Services Corp. on Capital Hill on Monday but no sensitive or confidential information was compromised, according to MLSC executive director Lee Pliscou.

Pliscou told Saipan Tribune that no data or files were lost.

“Although we have a lot of cleanup, repair, and replacement to do, we are already back to work,” Pliscou said.

He said the affected office will be closed in the two weeks, but the MLSC client service office in Chalan Piao behind Subway “remains open for business as usual.”

MLSC offers free legal assistance to low income people throughout Micronesia.

Pliscou said the main item stolen was a portable generator and 220/110 transformer, which they purchased brand new for $1,800 after Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015.

A few other items were stolen and MLSC personnel are currently working on a complete inventory of missing and damaged items.

Pliscou said they will have a preliminary list by the end of the day today, Friday.

He said a lot of items were damaged by fire and smoke.

Some of the electrical and electronic items need to be tested next week.

Pliscou expects the list of stolen and damaged items to include a number of computers and peripherals, and furniture.

“Certainly many thousands of dollars,” he said.

He assured, though, that this won’t have any significant effect on their client services or mission.

The incident, Pliscou said, reminds all of the value of having an updated disaster plan, including making sure data is secured and backed up.

Fortunately, he added, MLSC has a written disaster and business continuity plan, which they review at the beginning of the year.

According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, they are trying to determine the incendiary used to set off the fire.

DFEMS spokesman Derek Gersonde said Wednesday that the fire was apparently intended to cover up the burglary and theft.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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