It sounds like something out of a movie. Thieves breaking into a museum and stealing priceless artifacts. Leaving without a trace.
But staff at the Kernstown Battlefield Museum say that horror became their reality last week.
“We’re just devastated,” said Sue Golden, vice president of the Kernstown Battlefield Association. “Speechless, furious. We want to cry. It’s that whole rash of emotions.”
Golden says she last saw the items on Sunday, September 23, 2018. The museums staff closed up for the week due to the rainy weather. But when they returned Saturday, Sept. 29, a volunteer noticed a number of items were missing.
“They only took Civil War things,” said Golden. “There was an iPad sitting there with its charger, there was money in the cash drawer. They didn’t bother anything except taking specific Civil War items.”
According to Winchester police, the thieves used a ladder to enter the museum’s second floor attic space, allowing them to bypass the bars on the ground floor windows and doors. Once inside, the thieves snuck past the motion sensors and began clearing out the display cases.
The items stolen totaled somewhere between $5,600 and $10,000, many of them on loan from private owners.
“One family who, a lot of their things were taken, had not insured their items,” said Golden. “They are at a complete loss.”
Police say the thieves are likely trying to sell the items.
“We are looking online and checking with area pawn shops and hoping that something comes up,” said Winchester Police Lt. Amanda Behan.
Police ask anyone with information to call their anonymous tip line at (540) 665-TIPS (8477).