January 5, 2013 in City

Thieves make off with history

Barn-wood furniture taken from greenhouse
By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photoBuy this photo

“Karma will come into play,” said Kari Glessner about getting burglarized. She checked on her greenhouse last month and realized that somebody had stolen furniture handcrafted by her father using wood from a 100-year-old barn.
(Full-size photo)

A big slice of a family’s heritage is missing after thieves snatched a set of wood furniture handcrafted from the remnants of a 100-year-old Montana barn.

Kari Glessner checked on her winterized greenhouse southeast of Coeur d’Alene last month and discovered missing not only an enclosed trailer, circulation fan and lawn mower, but a priceless piece of her family’s history: two rocking chairs and a doubled-sided bench.

“It’s one of a kind, you know? My dad made it for me,” Glessner said.

Her father, a retired rancher, built the pieces from an aging barn that used to stand near her childhood home along the Marias River near Great Falls, Mont. The rocking chairs featured antique wagon wheels that were once used to work her family’s ranch. He made the set for her about 10 years ago.

“He went to work in his little old shop, lit a fire and worked on them all winter,” Glessner said. “That artistic value came out of my dad. He’s such a woodworker. I was so overwhelmed and in awe of what he had accomplished. Now they’re gone.”

Glessner filed a theft report with Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and provided the vehicle identification number for her trailer and serial number for the lawn mower. She speculates the thieves brought a pickup and hauled the furniture and a lawn mower away in her own trailer.

“Every time I’m out and about, I’m constantly looking for my trailer,” Glessner said. “The barn-wood furniture … I don’t even know where to start looking for that.”

Glessner runs a flower business out of her greenhouse during the spring and summer months, designing and arranging hanging baskets and pots, but during the winter she can’t be there all the time. A fence surrounds the property, but Glessner said the thieves used bolt cutters to gain access.

“At this point, I’m not sure what I can do to protect my property except to purchase cameras to put up there,” she said.

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