The Williamston Post
The Williamston Community Center suffered another break in last week.
The building was illegally accessed between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 21-22.
The Williamston Community Center is home to the senior center, the library and a food bank.
According to the police report, those that broke in damaged doors and security gates and stole a 1949 Williamston High School senior composite.
Damage was done in both the library and the senior center.
“A search of the building showed that the first and second floor hall gate have been damaged most probably by someone climbing on or over the gates,” said Williamston Police Chief Bob Young.
“Someone got into the building and broke a glass picture frame that held a picture of the 1949 high school senior class. There was glass on the floor outside the senior center and the picture was missing,” Young said.
Julie Chrisinskie, the head librarian in Williamston, noticed the damage the morning after the break in.
“We noticed that the gate was totally bent and it was meant to be straight. It was almost bent at a V with the lock at the bottom. You could see that it took some effort so somebody was really jamming on that down here in the library,” she said.
According to Chrisinskie, the tenants of the building feel totally powerless due to the fact that the Community Center is in the process of being sold.
“The people in the building, there’s nothing we can do. There is going to be a new owner very soon, and they need to seriously look at the security of the building,” Chrisinskie said.
Keeping the building secure has been an issue in the past and this is not the first break in.
“There have been several break ins over the years. The problem is it’s somewhat of an open building and an old building,” Young said.
Watching the building with all the different entrances is tough for the police.
“We keep an eye on it all the time but we can’t be there all the time so it’s real easy for someone to slip in there after-hours,” Young said.
“We’re playing stricter attention to it and they need to have better doors and limit access to people into these other areas,” he said.
Chrisinskie said that the break ins are very worrisome and detrimental to the Community Center.
“It puts everything at the building at risk,” she said
“They could start a fire, they could steal things, obviously, there’s damage and theft. [Another concern] is security of my staff who are here alone sometimes and if there’s a stranger in the building that worries me most.”
Although Young said they have no suspects or motive yet, Chrisinskie has some theories.
“I think it’s a lot of mischief,” said Chrisinskie. “It’s usually juvenile delinquents, youth. I think most of the time it’s just mischief and destructive.”
She noted that the old building can be a curiosity to kids.
“The building is interesting so as a kid it probably has a lot of allure. If you get in here and everything is unlocked you can find all sorts of cool things. But then they get destructive,” Chrisinskie said
Ann Hill, who is on the board of directors for the Senior Center, said the board will be addressing the issue today.
“We are scheduled to have a board meeting,” Hill said. “I’m sure it will come up in discussion.”
Police will continue to monitor the community center while the senior center, library and food bank will continue to operate at their normal hours.