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Break-in at Turners bakery

TURNERS FALLS — A local business suffered cash loss and property damages following an early-morning break-in.

The owners of the 2nd Street Baking Co., on 4th Street, were called by police at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, after discovering their front door had been pried open.

“It’s disappointing; this is the third time this has happened since we moved here,” said co-owner Laura Puchalski.

The business moved to 4th Street in August 2012. The bakery was first broken into that December during a spate of business break-ins in Turners Falls and Greenfield. It was again burglarized in February 2013, according to police logs. Puchalski said there have been other, unsuccessful break-in attempts as well.

She said a minimal amount of cash was taken in the Friday burglary. Damages to the building far outweighed the money stolen, said Puchalski.

She said it cost about $1,000 in parts and labor to repair the last door, and that it took several weeks for insurance to reimburse the business. When they did receive insurance money, it only covered about 75 percent of the repair costs, she said. Puchalski said the first break-in netted burglars “a few hundred dollars,” but that the bakery keeps much less cash on-hand since then.

“Every time this happens, we learn a little more from it,” she said. “Every time, we tighten security, but they keep finding a way to infiltrate us. We thought everything was really secure before this happened.”

She called Friday’s burglary “brazen,” as the thieves pried open the front door, which is well-lit by a street light, and in view of several neighboring houses. She said the door, jamb and related hardware were damaged in the break.

Friday’s break-in also put the business behind schedule.

“We had orders to bake and we couldn’t get in to do them for about an hour while police investigated,” she said. “It put our bread baking schedule behind and customers were coming in for orders that weren’t ready yet. It’s like a domino effect on the whole day.”

The last two years have seen several break-ins at area businesses, though few have been reported in recent months. Puchalski said she thinks the cold winter has kept thieves at bay. She worried that when the weather warms up, the crime rate could increase.

Puchalski asked for the neighborhood’s help in reporting or preventing break-ins, and urged vigilance by those in town.

Montague police confirmed Friday’s break-in, but said few details were available. The detective working the case was not scheduled to return before press time Friday.

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