Thieves trash thrift store for $300 |

Thieves trash thrift store for $300

by Sharlene Irete

After an early morning break-in, Barton Hospice Thrift Store is out of a new cash register, a safe and $300.

Sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, an intruder broke a window to get into the unoccupied unit next door to the thrift store, gained entry through a common door and made off with about $300.

“It’s unfortunate that someone has to break into a thrift store that’s trying to raise money for dying people,” said store manager Cheryl Wright.

Barton Hospice Thrift Store is at 1609 Highway 395 in Minden.

“They pushed through the door, smashed the cash register to smithereens and took the money in the safe,” said Wright. “There was blood everywhere because they reached in and cut themselves on the broken window.”

The store’s safe was smashed against work tables to get at the money. The culprit changed into clean clothes and left bloody clothes stuffed in a basket in the store.

Wright said she wanted to alert other thrift stores about the break-in.

“There are people out there desperate enough to break into a thrift store across the street from the sheriff’s department,” she said.

Peggy Lucier was the first to notice the door between the two parts of the building open when she came to work at the thrift store on Saturday morning.

“When I came in, it smelled bad,” said Lucier. “Whoever broke in was really dirty. A cigarette was on the floor and it hadn’t been out for very long. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, the cash register’s gone.’

“It’s very frightening to be violated like that,” she said. “You get mad when someone takes your stuff but this was very violent. I got physically sick.”

During the investigation, the officer said there was no forced entry into the thrift store – a wake-up call for the staff not to be so trusting and to engage the thrift store’s security system in the future.

“Like the officer said, ‘This isn’t a small town anymore,'” said Lucier.