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BARTON â€“ A thief wearing a wolf mask broke into Bartonâ€™s Memory Lane during the very early hours Tuesday morning and stole between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of merchandise and a 400-pound safe.
The thieves stole gold and sterling silver jewelry, diamond earrings and other things.
It took years to build up the lost stock, store owners Dan and Catherine McMaster said. Most of the jewelry came from estates and many of the pieces were one of a kind. Some of the pieces were 100 years old.
â€śYou just donâ€™t go out and buy estate jewelry at a store,â€ť said Dan McMaster. â€śThe gold rings we had came from someoneâ€™s mother or grandmother.â€ť
The McMasters said it would take a year to refill the cases.
Weâ€™ve been gone for three years,â€ť said Catherine McMaster. â€śWe came back and opened up what I think is a lovely shop. Itâ€™s an asset to this community and this village. I really take it to heart that someone would do this to us.â€ť
Witnesses told police that they saw a black Geo Metro parked at the McMasters' business, which is also their home.
Orleans County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Ingalls, who arrived to investigate the theft, said someone stole a car matching that description from a yard just up the street from the McMasters. According to police, the car belongs to Wayne Amey. Amey told police he last saw his car at his residence at 11:30 p.m. Monday. The carâ€™s plate is Vermont EBD677.
Amey told police the car doesnâ€™t have a front passenger seat.
Deputy Jonathan Macfarlane reports that around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 20, someone broke into the Solid Rock Church, which is next door to the McMasters, but didnâ€™t take anything.
Macfarlane also said someone smashed out the window of the E.M. Brown Store but did not enter it.
Anyone with information about any of these crimes is asked to call the Orleans County Sheriff's Department at 334-3333.