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Craft store break-in expensive

A late-night break in at a Bayview craft store on Saturday night or Sunday morning netted burglars more than $1,000 and has Island County Sheriff's detectives wondering how the criminals broke in.

According to Russ Lindner, chief of investigations for the sheriff's office, one or two people entered Casey's Crafts without having to so much as break a window or jimmy a door. Sometime between the store's closing time on Saturday and Sunday-morning opening, burglars got into the store, then broke into a safe in the offices of Kent Myers and Associates. Using tools they found in the office and craft store -- which share a common space in a Bayview shopping center -- the burglars managed to open the safe and remove approximately $1,300 in cash and some other documents. Lindner did not specify whether or not those documents were credit card receipts.

Lindner said the business did take some precautions to prevent a break-in, but did not have an alarm to scare off potential burglars. Those precautions, which included solidly locked doors, apparently did little to impede the criminals. Lindner said sheriff's detectives found no sign of forced entry at the business. He refused to speculate on how the burglars broke in, citing the sheriff's ongoing investigation.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Smith said she does not believe the burglary is related to a break-in at Freeland's Ace Hardware in January.

She advised business owners to install loud alarms. "It is our experience that any audible alarm is a good deterrent."

Smith encouraged anyone with information about the break-in to contact the sheriff's office at 321-5113 Ext. 7310.

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