Molalla real estate office hit by burglary
Burglars broke into the offices of Northwest Professional Realty in Molalla recently, and what they didn't steal, they trashed, said Melinda Villalobos, principal broker for the agency.
"They jimmied the door, ransacked the office and stole anything of value," Villalobos said Friday. "They had a great time - sat around and drank pop, ate candy and left a mess."
Police told her that such activity is generally done by "meth heads," she said.
Villalobos said nobody was aware of the break-in until office personnel arrived at work Monday morning.
"The break in was either Saturday or Sunday night; nobody really knows," she said. "We just know that when we came in Monday morning, the side door was open. And everything was ransacked."
The other doors to the office were dead-bolted, she said, but thieves were able to break in the door that had a coded lock.
At this time, no arrests have been made, but police have information that the car involved was parked at the Chase bank, nearby. The real estate office is located on Robbins Street in downtown Molalla. Police also took a number of finger prints at the scene of the robbery.
"It makes us all sick, thinking this sort of crime can go on in our little town," Villalobos said. "It's really unfortunate. But I will probably put in security cameras now."
Every computer monitor in the office was stolen, but the thieves left the computer processors, she said.
Villalobos said she is working with the insurance agency to come up with a projection of the total loss.
"I had to go out the other day and buy new monitors," she said. "They ripped my TV off the wall, another in the back office and another one I had still in its box. The worst thing was my daughter had just moved, and she had a box with all her important papers in my office, and they ransacked the whole thing."
Villalobos said employees were busy closing down all their accounts and replacing passwords on Monday.
"The one thing I really want to say is whether you are residential or commercial, break-ins are happening more and more in Molalla," she said. "Get security cameras. It makes me sad I even have to think about that."
The company was back in business by Tuesday, since all the agents have laptops, she said. But they had a lot of cleaning up to do before they could re-open the doors.
"I feel blessed, being in that building as long as we have — since 1999 — and this is the one time this has happened," she said.