Family seeks 1956 tavern game stolen from Richland storage unit

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldNovember 27, 2012 

Kim Harp said she doesn't care about a lot of the items that were stolen recently from her family's three storage units in south Richland.

While it will be expensive to buy new electronics, a lawnmower, furniture and china, those items can be replaced.

But there's no way to get back the 1956 Williams Crane game, a novelty tavern game, given to Harp by her grandfather 40 years ago.

"I'm heartbroken, it was the treasure of my lifetime," she told the Herald.

Harp and her family still are assessing what else may have been taken from their storage units at Queensgate Storage on Jericho Road in Richland three weeks ago, and have reported the crime to Richland police. In the meantime, she's offering a $5,000 reward in an effort to catch whoever stole her game.

The Harp family has lived in the Tri-Cities for 20 years, but Kim Harp and her four children recently moved to Spokane so she could help care for her mother, who has multiple sclerosis.

Her husband Ben continues to work at the Hanford site.

The family sold its 3,000-square-foot home and put most of their belongings in the storage units near Queensgate Drive. They discovered the units had the locks cut and many of the family's valuable items were taken.

It wasn't until recently, though, that Harp said her husband noticed the crane game -- which is 6-feet tall and in a large glass case -- also was missing.

"It doesn't even work, it's just sentimental and a one-of-a-kind," she said.

Capt. Mike Cobb from the Richland Police Department said officers investigated the theft but there are no new leads.

"Storage unit burglaries are notoriously difficult to solve," he said.

Cobb said thieves will target two or three units at a time, sometimes going between units by tearing through shared partitions, and they'll take anything they think has value.

Harp said she'll be visiting her family's units again this week. "I just have a feeling there's going to be more stuff missing," she said.

Anyone with information on the break-ins is asked to call Richland police.

Note: This article has been changed from its original version, which named the wrong storage unit facility where the burglary occurred.

-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com

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