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Thieves Take Memories Construction Firm Loses Record Of Building The New Arena

Thieves who broke into a construction office near the new Spokane Arena late Wednesday or early Thursday got away with more than just $10,000 to $15,000 worth of electronics and equipment.

They also stole nearly two years of memories.

Garco Construction Co. lost all of its videotapes and photographs chronicling construction of the $66.2 million Arena.

Garco President Tim Welsh issued an appeal Thursday to the thieves: “Please stick these things in an envelope and mail these back to us,” he said. “Please return the things that are of no value to you but are of value to us and the community.”

The break-in was bold. It occurred despite heavy late-night construction traffic in the Arena and in the adjacent Garco warehouse at 820 W. Mallon.

Welsh said there are no suspects, but he would not rule out an inside job by a worker.

The warehouse’s downstairs door was unlocked when the heist occurred after 10:30 p.m. and before 6:30 a.m.

Thieves pried the jamb off the upstairs office door and made off with a financial computer, calculators, pen and pencil sets, a video camera with used tapes and a camera and photographs.

“It’s kind of our pictorial history of construction of the arena,” Welsh said. “We had hoped to give the library a copy of the tapes and pictures so that people would have a recorded sequence of construction.”

Arena construction will end just before the opening act - country singer John Michael Montgomery - takes the stage Sept. 16. The arena is patrolled by 24-hour security.

An open house will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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