Vandals got inside the Pioneer Museum and broke whatever they could before police ran them off. Officers were on scene within minutes after an alarm went off.
It’s not clear if the goal of the burglars was to take anything or just damage the historic building. Officials saying nothing quite like this has ever happened there before.
It took employees several hours Saturday morning to clean up the mess that the vandals left behind.
"It's hard to understand why somebody would want to do this,” said director Matt Mayberry.
Crews had to replace four windows that were busted out.
To the average eye, it’s just glass. But to employees, it’s history. Some windows had been there since 1903.
“These windows are part of the historic fabric of the building, so this would be original to the building...it will be hard to replace them,” said Mayberry.
The burglars didn’t take anything, but damaged what they could in the few minutes they had, including the front desk.
Officials say fortunately no historic artifacts were damaged or taken, but it’s still a crime history lovers have a hard time wrapping their minds around.
"The museum is really a treasure for the community and our job is to protect the history of the community. It's painful when things like this happen,” said Mayberry.
In fact the building is especially important to one couple, who is getting married there Saturday night and will be marching through the very hallway that was vandalized.
"There's kind of a feeling of being violated, a feeling of the community's heritage being violated,” said Mayberry.
Officials expect the damage to be thousands of dollars. Right now they tell us they are not sure how they will pay for it. Since it’s a city-owned property, it could come out of taxpayers' wallets, or they will have to fundraise.
Either option officials say they wish they didn’t have to do.
If you have any information about this break-in, call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP. It happened around 12:30 Saturday morning. They broke in at the south side door.
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