US & Canada

Barack Obama road trip kit truck stolen in Virginia

Barack Obama speaks at the YMCA on Guilford Technical Community College Campus in Jamestown, North Carolina, 18 October 2011
Image caption The president's equipment is officially under the watch of the US military

A truck containing $200,000 worth of audio equipment used by US President Barack Obama has been stolen in Virginia, US media reports say.

Podiums, presidential seals - and possibly even a teleprompter - were said to have been stored in the truck.

Pentagon officials did not confirm its contents but said the truck was recovered soon after it was taken.

The vehicle was stationed in the parking lot of a Richmond, Virginia hotel ahead of a planned event.

The speech in Richmond was part of a three-day bus tour by Mr Obama through Virginia and North Carolina as he seeks to promote his proposed jobs bill.

The US military oversees audio and video equipment for the president's public appearances.

Defence department spokesman George Little confirmed the truck had been stolen and that the department was investigating if the thieves had specifically targeted it.

"We don't believe that any classified or sensitive information was in the vehicle," Mr Little told reporters.

It was not clear if all the equipment originally in the truck was also recovered - including the teleprompter that Republican critics of Mr Obama say is his crutch.

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