The Children’s Museum of Walla Walla was burglarized March 31, causing an estimated $2,000 in damages as burglars apparently searched for valuables.
The museum is on the campus of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center.
VA police Lt. Doug Jones said the museum was broken into sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. Tuesday.
“They weren’t trying to trash the place, they were just looking for quick cash and whatever means it took find that cash,” Jones said.
The result was a broken window used to get inside, a smashed cash register, a stolen safe with $200 and extensive damage to the ceiling, where someone burglars went into the attic crawl space and stepped through drywall in a number of places, said museum treasurer Merrikay Locati.
Board member Tabitha Crenshaw said officials hope to have the museum open by Friday.
Volunteer inmates from the Washington State Penitentiary will help clean up the mess and repair damage.
“Inmates can’t give us supplies but they can give us labor,” Locati said. “They will not be happy. They take great pride in working on the children’s museum.”
Museum officials noted that the area with the most damage was scheduled to be rebuilt with a new exhibit this summer.
“In light of this room’s unexpected early demolition we are hoping to use this moment as a way to show our Valley’s children to look on the bright side of unfortunate events,” board member Michelle Gajda said.
“Perhaps our new Farm-to-Table room will have an interactive lemonade stand. After all when life hands you lemons …,” she added.
Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Veterans Affairs Police at 509-527-6135.