Library among places broken into in town.
Burglars will receive no amnesty day after breaking into the Peru Free Library.
The burglary took place sometime between the hours of 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 a.m. Nov. 10 while the library was closed, according to state police Investigator Brian Sypek.
Library director Becky Pace said when she walked into the library Nov. 10, nothing was disturbed or dishevelled and no door or window broken open, but she noticed a few things were missing, including an older laptop, a money box containing about $10 from late fee collections and a collection box for the Elmore ASPCA.
“They entered through a window, and we don’t know if they came into the library when it was open and unlocked the window or if it was left open by one of us,” Pace said.
Pace said the intruders took something more valuable than a few bucks and a computer — the secure feeling the library has always given her.
“I’m really very unhappy,” she said. “A library is supposed to be a safe space, and this doesn’t make us feel safe.”
Pace said the laptop, an older and bulkier model to which she could not recall the brand, would be of little use to the burglars unless they speak Russian. The computer had primarily been used by a Russian exchange student. After the student left the area, library staff members were unable to figure out how to switch the language settings to English.
“I expect it was probably a surprise for whoever took the laptop,” Pace said.
The break-in at the library is just one of eight that have occurred in the area over the past few weeks, according to Sypek.
“There have been a few break-ins in the town of Peru and the hamlet,” Sypek said. “Some of them have been residences, and, in this case, a library.”
Burglars hit two separate apartments at 2968 Main St. Sept. 13 and a house on North Bend Road from which $800 was stolen. Items stolen from one of the Main Street apartments included an external hard drive, a safe containing collectable coins, a black messenger bag, a bayonet, and collectible knives amounting to $1,100, according to Sypek.
Similar to the library incident, there were no signs of forced entry, with the exception of a broken screen, at any of the eight locations.
State police made an arrest in October stemming from another string of burglaries in the Peru area where unattached garages and sheds were targeted. Cameron M. Rascoe, 20, Peru, was arrested Oct. 20 in connection with stealing tools and charged with third-degree burglary after he tried to sell them on Craigslist. Rascoe has since been released from jail, according to Sypek.
Those involved with the break-in at the library may face charges of third-degree burglary, a class D felony. The people who hit the residences could be charged with second-degree burglary, a class C felony, and face more than a year in prison.
Sypek said the police cannot determine whether any of the burglaries in the Peru area are connected.
“I don’t know that they are connected, but I can tell you there are trends,” Sypek said. “There have been a lot [of burglaries]. We don’t know if it’s the same people, different groups, but this is atypical for Peru.”