News

Thief takes safe, cash and scales from Bayview business

A thief attempted to gain access to Bayview Farm & Garden
A thief attempted to gain access to Bayview Farm & Garden's administration offices by punching a hole in the ceiling of a restroom at the store some time Sunday night.
— image credit: Spencer Webster

BAYVIEW — When breaking into Bayview Farm & Garden through a restroom ceiling proved too difficult Sunday night, a “knucklehead” thief entered through a shattered window instead.

Maureen Rowley arrived Monday morning at her business to discover not only a broken window, but a damaged restroom door, a gaping hole in the restroom ceiling, a pried door to her administration offices and missing digital scales and a safe that contained petty cash.

Rowley figured that when the thief could not get into the offices through the restroom ceiling, the options for breaking in diminished.

“They obviously are knuckleheads. They drilled some holes and pulled down the sheetrock,” she said. “Maybe they thought they were going to go through the floor.”

When the person did not succeed at entering through the restroom ceiling, the thief went back to the main entrance to the store and grabbed a landscaping brick out of a retaining wall.

“After trying to jimmy the window with a pry bar, they took a brick and threw it at a very high velocity through the window,” she said. “I think they were trying to avoid the alarm on the door and were trying to avoid going through the doors.”

Despite jagged glass remaining on the sills, the thief climbed through the window and made his way through the store to the stairs, where he pried open the entrance to the office.

“They crowbarred open the door and ruined that,” Rowley said. “The safe was behind a door. It was out in plain sight. Somebody looking for a safe could have found it.”

“They tore it up from the floor,” she added. “They were going for the cash, safe and scales. They also took two of our digital scales that we use to weigh merchandise, which tells me they are involved in drugs.”

As a result of the burglary, Rowley is already making changes to the security of her business.

“We will be installing a more sophisticated alarm system that will involve motion sensors,” Rowley said.

“It is definitely a disturbing violation,” she added. “In this community, you get kind of comfortable because people are so friendly and supportive of us as a business. You work really hard and give a lot to the community and you sort of expect that is what you will get back and for the most part, we do. When something like this happens, my predominant emotion about it is that I am so thankful that I am who I am and not them.”

Despite the fact that the burglary has caused her to take steps to counteract future thefts, Rowley remains positive about her situation.

“I think in life, you have to not hold onto things so tightly. I have a lot of good things going on in my life and this is a bump in the road,” she said.

“What are you going to do? You can barricade, you can put razor wire up. I choose to just not live that way. I am not going to let it get me down. I am just going to carry on.”

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the break-in.

Spencer Webster can be reached at 221-5300 or at swebster@southwhidbeyrecord.com

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