SPOKANE, Wash. – $5,000 in musical equipment and tools… gone. It happened over the weekend at The Village Café and Concert House in downtown Spokane by some very determined burglars.
Whoever did it had to climb in through a narrow fence opening to gain access to the courtyard behind the building. Then, using a palette as a step, someone climbed in through a small open window – a window with bars across it.
"Pretty determined, yeah, and pretty skinny," owner Doug LaPlante said of the burglars. "If you look in there, you'll see the bars are spaced 8 or 10 inches apart."
LaPlante first noticed something was wrong when he arrived Saturday morning to find his air compressor missing – but that wasn't all.
"One by one I noticed things missing - some recording gear, instruments, guitars," LaPlante added.
Equipment and tools that total some $5,000. To make matters worse, The Village Café supports LaPlante's nonprofit, The Village Experience; it partners with the Boys & Girls Club and other organizations to connect local children with access to instruments and free music lessons.
"As far as the non profit goes, we'll manage anyway, but it doesn't help," LaPlante added. "We have to buy new equipment."
He thinks once the first person got in through the window, he or she let in other accomplices through the kitchen – a door he found unlocked the next morning.
"At first it's kind of shocking, and you think, wow, why me?" he added. "But then you have to get up and get back at it, because there's not much you can do.
The good news is there is a lot of music equipment the burglars didn't take; LaPlante says he'll be ready if the burglars try it again, as he's installed new security equipment. So far there have been no arrests made, and LaPlante says he has some leads.
But still, the whole experience leaves him on a sour note.
"We'll be okay," LaPlante added. "It's just, every little bit that you lose, it hurts."