Police estimate JACC damage at $10,000

The Juneau community was more than willing to lend a hand following a late night smash-and-grab that jeopardized the Juneau Arts and Culture Center’s First Friday showing.

“We’ve been getting lots of calls, … we’ve had lots of offers” for help, said Juneau Arts and Humanities Council board president Eric Scott.

The JACC sustained “significant damage” in the range of $10,000 during the burglary on either late Thursday or early Friday morning, according to police. Authorities were contacted around 7:30 a.m. Friday when executive director Nancy DeCherney arrived for work.

JACC staff distributed a press release and asked for help from the community on its Facebook page to get the mess cleaned up in time for its 4:30 p.m. First Friday gallery opening. Scott said staff and board members were able to reenter the popular artist gallery and community center Friday afternoon. 

“The police were doing fingerprinting, taking footprints, reviewing security footage and … documenting in general,” said Scott, explaining why he and his staff couldn’t enter the building, located on Egan Drive.

Scott said Friday afternoon he was still taking inventory to figure out what was stolen.

“There was a good bit of art removed from the display cases” in the main lobby, he said. “The art that was in the gallery, our current display, was not affected. Most of the things that were taken were smaller, easy to carry items.”

Police said stolen items included a safe, artwork, jewelry and prints.

Scott added that the suspect or suspects also appeared to be looking for money; entry to the office had been forced and desks were rifled. A photo released by Scott, taken from surveillance footage, shows shattered glass and items strewn about the floor in the main lobby area where visitors first enter the building.

The JACC’s lobby shop, the main area targeted, sells items on behalf of individual artists. Scott said the JACC will reimburse artists for the pieces stolen, and he’s hopeful the JACC will then be reimbursed through insurance. 

Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Erann Kalwara told the Empire the investigation is still ongoing and details about the crime are not available.

“So terrible to see happen in our town,” wrote Juneau Board of Education member Lisa Worl on the JAHC’s Facebook page. “I’m betting and hoping our community will come together to help prepare for First Friday and, then hopefully, to help catch whoever is responsible.”

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