Crime

Burglars target two nonprofits

Chief Executive Officer Joe Ingoglia walks past a table of donated auction items in the basement of theTumwater administrative offices for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County Tuesday after thieves broke in over the holiday weekend, stealing some of those donated items along with seven office computers.
Chief Executive Officer Joe Ingoglia walks past a table of donated auction items in the basement of theTumwater administrative offices for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County Tuesday after thieves broke in over the holiday weekend, stealing some of those donated items along with seven office computers. The Olympian

TUMWATER - Employees of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County arrived at work Tuesday to find that someone had ransacked the offices, stealing seven computers, auction items for an annual fundraiser and boxes of toys that are distributed to needy families.

“It’s kind of sad to think, of all places to rob, a Boys & Girls Club?” said Ryan Betz, the Thurston County clubs’ resource development director.

Betz said he and other employees spent about four hours cleaning up the mess. Employees’ personal items were stolen from inside their desks. Betz said an iPod was stolen from his desk. Administrative assistant Lynnette Avery said prescription eyeglasses were stolen from her desk drawer.

“They opened every single drawer and took everything out of it,” she said.

Employees still are itemizing the losses from the weekend burglary, but the preliminary estimate is about $10,000, said the Thurston County clubs’ chief executive officer, Joe Ingoglia.

Stolen auction items include an expensive fishing rod and reel and stereo equipment, he said. The annual auction for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Great Wolf Lodge. The auction raises money for the local clubs’ year-round before- and after-school programs for children.

The burglary occurred between Friday night and Tuesday morning, Tumwater Police detective Jen Kolb said. On Tuesday, she lifted fingerprints left on surfaces from throughout the offices.

The thief or thieves entered the clubs’ administrative offices by prying open a rear door with a crowbar or some other type of tool. Ingoglia said replacing the door will be an additional expense. The offices are in a secluded residential area of Tumwater in a small complex that includes state government offices.

The burglars must have used a vehicle, given the large number of computers stolen, Kolb said. “There’s no way they could have taken it all out by foot.”

Late Tuesday, an official at the YWCA at Union Avenue and Franklin Street in Olympia reported to The Olympian that its office also was burglarized over the weekend.

YWCA Executive Director Karmel Shields reported that employees arrived to work Tuesday and found that a door had been kicked in. A laptop computer and petty cash from a drawer were stolen, she said. A key to a YWCA van also was reported stolen. The Olympia Police Department took a report at the YWCA’s offices Tuesday morning, Shields said. It was unknown Tuesday whether the two burglaries are connected.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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