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Well-read burglars take joy, luck out of Kingston

KINGSTON — Burglars were apparently looking for some used literature to go with their Chinese food Aug. 10. Or just some fast cash.

Mr. B’s Bookery and the Joy Luck Restaurant in the Kingston Thriftway complex were hit for nearly a combined $600 last weekend.

Bill Wiley, the owner of Mr. B’s Bookery, said his business was burglarized sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning and that he was surprised that anyone would want to break into a used bookstore.

“They didn’t steal any books from what I could tell,” Wiley said, adding that he was thankful they didn’t vandalize the store. He said it appeared that the burglars came in through the front door.

“They knew the lock well enough to twist it off with a lock wrench or something,” he said. “It wasn’t their first break-in.”

Once the person or persons were in the store, Wiley said they rifled through the office in the back and went through the register in the front of the store.

They took about $150 from the office and about another $50 from the register, he said.

“It wasn’t too hard to look for things, so there was not a lot of damage,” he said.

Wiley said it appeared that the burglars also attempted to break into restaurant from the bookstore. They removed a ceiling tile in the office and attempted to crawl to the restaurant through the ceiling, but they ran into a firewall, Wiley said.

The burglars then tried gaining access to the restaurant by bashing holes through the wall in the office and the restroom.

But the burglars didn’t succeed there, either, Wiley said. That wall was blocked by equipment on the Joy Luck side.

While the locks in the store have been changed, Wiley said he isn’t ready to install a security system.

“(We’ll) just make sure we don’t leave large amounts of cash here,” he said. “I could put bars on the window — but it would invite new game in town.”

While he guesses he lost around $200, Wiley said he was grateful damage to his store wasn’t more extensive.

Jenna Zhang, manager of the Joy Luck Restaurant, said her establishment was burglarized on Sunday, too.

When Zhang arrived at work Monday morning, she found the backdoor slightly ajar, with scratches and dents around the door knob. The rear screen door on the inside of the backdoor had been forced open as well.

Zhang also found several beer bottles missing and the register area a mess with paper products.

She estimates about $250 was taken from the register and the bank bag, which was in the cupboard under the register.

“The person must have known how to open (the register),” she said, noting that all the cash and coins were taken. “Even a penny they took.”

But the burglars left behind a purple flashlight on the counter, she said, which she claims is not owned by the restaurant.

Investigators were not able to find fingerprints in the restaurant but they reportedly discovered them all over the bookstore, Zhang said.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Deputies guessed that the burglars wore gloves during the incident, she said.

“It was a tragedy,” Zhang said. “This never happened here before.”

Both cases are under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

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