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Burglary targets Wildlife Images

Wildlife Images is reeling from an overnight burglary at its gift shop, but the Grants Pass nonprofit says the crime didn’t impact the wildlife it serves or the rehabilitation center’s hours.

Sometime before dawn Wednesday, burglars struck the nonprofit’s gift shop at 1845 Lower River Road, making off with a cash register, according to Wildlife Images spokeswoman Erin Maxson.

The nonprofit opened on schedule at 9 a.m., Maxson said, and as of Wednesday afternoon had accommodated a “couple dozen” visitors. It also took in a dozen new animals, including a pair of raccoons that arrived about 2:40 p.m.

“Just because something like this happens doesn’t mean we can stop,” Maxson said. “We just keep going.”

Staff had activated an alarm system after locking up Tuesday, but it never went off. Maxson described their security system as “small” and designed "to keep the animals on the property safe."

“Someone took advantage of that,” Maxson said.

The thieves entered through a window that wasn’t connected to the security system and may have been left unlatched.

It’s uncertain whether any merchandise from the gift shop was stolen because staff hadn’t counted inventory recently, but Maxson said that if they made off with anything, it was small.

“We did look at our higher-priced items, and we didn’t see any of them missing,” Maxson said.

She estimates that the nonprofit lost less than $325 in cash, because the gift shop had made a deposit after the busy Memorial Day weekend, but that doesn’t include the costs of replacing the register, the donation box and a damaged window screen.

“It’s not going to make or break us, but it’s telling as a story of our community,” Maxson said.

Compounding the disappointment was that the burglary was the nonprofit’s second theft in the span of a month, according to Maxson.

During a Mother’s Day brunch fundraiser, someone “hoisted” a bottle of wine and another item from a gift basket intended to be a raffle prize, Maxson said. The theft was small enough that it was not reported to police.

“It was sort of like a hit to morale,” Maxson said. “We just give everything out here to the animals.”

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office at 541-471-5123 and reference case No. CSP008283. For information about Wildlife Images, see wildlifeimages.org.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Burglars stole a cash register, a cash drawer connected to a computer system and a donation box Wednesday morning from the Wildlife Images gift shop.