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Thieves break into Woodstock eye clinic

by: Elizabeth Ussher Groff In the early morning hours of October 25th, after a break-in at Woodstock Eye Styles, East Precinct officers arranged for the door to be boarded up, before they left the scene after their investigation. A computer stolen in the crime was later recovered.

A phone call in the middle of the night often means bad news. So it was, for optometrist Dr. Christopher Thorsland of Woodstock Eye Styles, at 2 am on Tuesday, October 25th.

'It was the police telling me that someone had broken in through the front door of the shop,' explained Dr. Thorsland. Three months before, the new eye clinic owner had moved into the store, located in the Woodstock strip mall next to Safeway, as detailed in a previous BEE article.

At the time of the break-in, the security system had been dismantled in preparation for a remodel.

Some money from the petty cash drawer and an iMac computer were stolen, but all eyeglass frames on display were left untouched, and no other vandalism occurred. Speculation is that the break-in was one of many in the city that are drug related, with burglars looking for cash and portable merchandise to sell.

Jamie Weide, office and accounts manager at Eye Styles, arrived later that morning to find glass shards so thickly strewn on the sidewalk that she had to borrow a broom from the hair salon two doors down in order to clear space for the door to open. The force of the break-in had propelled glass all the way back to her desk, fifteen feet away.

Dr. Thorsland told THE BEE that he was impressed that the police immediately arranged to have the door boarded up, and was thankful he didn't have to leave his home at 3 am to do it himself. Police fingerprinted the shop, and left instructions for cleaning up their black smudges.

Woodstock Eye Styles says that the break-in was unfortunate, but once again reinforced the new owners' and employees' perception that they have moved into a caring community. Weide reports that when she was sweeping up glass on Tuesday morning, a local garbage hauler contracted with City Sanitary took the broom from her and insisted on helping.

Two weeks after the break-in Thorsland was happy to announce that the police had contacted him with good news - they had found the iMac. He had given the police the serial number immediately after the theft, and they were able to trace it. 'We are blessed to have such good men and women serving us!' exclaimed a grateful Thorsland.

Remodel plans for the clinic made several months ago were begun November 7th. Eye Styles will temporarily occupy the space vacated by the recently-closed children's shop 'Plue', just three doors down, until sometime in December, when they will settle back into their renovated shop on the east-end corner of the strip mall on the north side of the Woodstock Shopping Center, near Safeway.

Eye Styles, 4441 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, is open 9 to 6 every weekday except Wednesday - when their hours are 10 to 7. They can be reached at 503/775-4550 during office hours.