By Jeremy Pawloski
The Olympian (MCT)
The burglar who broke into Thurston County Animal Services on Martin Way East early Tuesday literally entered the building like a dog.
The man crawled through a public kennel door that is open 24 hours a day for people to leave unwanted dogs and anonymously put them up for adoption, Thurston County Animal Services Director Susanne Beauregard said.
The public door can be closed by someone leaving a pet. Then the dog can safely enter the kennel inside the Animal Services building through a small dog-sized door, she added.
Once inside the kennel, the man smashed his weight against the locked metal door to the cage until he broke the welding off of its gate. The man must have been strong, because the gate is built strong enough to hold a Rottweiler, Beauregard added.
The time stamp on the surveillance footage of the break-in shows the suspect gained access about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, Beauregard said.
“He did look at the camera a couple of times, but the lighting wasn’t great,” she said.
The man stole two duty belts carried by animal-control officers, Beauregard said. The belts include asps, maces, and the badges carried by the officers, she said.
The man also stole keys to a vehicle, cameras, a digital projector, a cellphone, a GPS device and cords for Beauregard’s iPad and iPhone. Beauregard said the man stayed in the building until almost 6 a.m., rifling through employees’ desks and generally making a mess.
“The jerk,” Beauregard said. “My office looked like a tornado went through it.”
Olympia Police Department spokeswoman Laura Wohl confirmed that the detectives are investigating but so far have no suspects.
Anyone with information that can help lead to an arrest is encouraged to call the Olympia Police Department at 360-753-8300, and ask for the detectives division.