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Burglar smashes library artwork, steals donations

A 16-year-old island boy was arrested Wed­nes­­day, police say.

A burglar smashed his way into the Bainbridge Library Tuesday night, then damaged a unique work of art to steal cash contributions made to the library.

Police arrested a 16-year-old male suspect Wednesday afternoon, shortly after a witness came forward and linked him to the crime, De­tective Scott An-der­son said. The youth remained in custody at the Kitsap juvenile facility Thursday.

Dam­aged in the break-in was a 6-foot-tall, papier maché giraffe just inside the li­brary en­trance.

Crafted by island artist Kathe Fraga, the figure was fashioned around a clear plastic sphere; donors put change and bills into slots in the giraffe’s neck, and watched it collect in the tummy.

“It’s very popular. Kids really enjoy putting money into it,” library manager Cindy Harrison said.

The suspect broke the sphere and stole an estimated $150 in bills; cash and glass shards were found on the suspect when he was arrested, police said.

The suspect used a large rock to smash through a custom-cut window that fronts the garden on the east side of the building. Repairs are estimated at $1,500.

No other thefts or damage to the building were reported.

Wheth­er or not the giraffe figure can be repaired is unclear. Fraga had yet to inspect the damage when she was contacted Wed­nesday afternoon.

“All I can say is, it’s a sad day on Bainbridge Island when giraffes are being robbed,” she said. “Of course I’m going to look at it, and I hope I can fix it.”

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