Thieves ransack offices in Railroad Savings and Loan building

Thieves broke down the door to the Newton Chamber of Commerce Office, on the night of Dec. 11 or early Dec. 12

Matthew Hensiek arrived at his office at 500 N. Main St., to find something amiss Tuesday morning. A back door of his office had been broken and was ajar. Papers were rifled through. He reported the incident to his wife, who told him he should call the police, which he did.

The scene in Hensiek’s office mirrored what occupants of offices across the historic Railroad Savings and Loan building found Tuesday morning.
A thief or thieves broke doors, rifled through papers and in some cases stole cash.

“You just feel violated someone was in your space,” Newton Chamber of Commerce Director Pam Stevens said.

The Chamber office had its solid wood door broken. Burglars rifled through desks, took a small amount of petty cash, but left electronics and checkbooks. They stole no chamber checks. The burglary took place either late in the evening of Dec. 11 or early on Dec. 12.

Thieves broke the door to attorney Brad Jantz’ office and stole more than $4,000 worth of cash.

The thieves hit the Economic Development Council  office and moved through the building. Upstairs they broke in through a side door to get into the RE/MAX office.  Again electronics and valuables were left alone. Employees thought some coins or petty cash might have been taken.

It was in attorney Brad Jantz’ office where they hit paydirt.
“I made it easy for them,” Jantz said. “I had a deposit to make. I had it stacked with envelopes and a deposit slip.”
Jantz thinks that in total thieves made off with around $4,000 from his office, stealing the deposit he had sitting on his desk waiting to be taken to the bank.

“They were pretty determined in my case,” he said. “My guess is they looked at the professional offices like the accountants and mine and the reality firms.”

Jantz said that he had recently received a sizable payment for his services, but didn’t think it possible that someone would have known he had that payment in his office.

As for how the thieves got into the building, Stevens and others said they were told by police that it was possibly by prying the back door of the building open.

On the outside of the building no windows were visibly broken.

Stevens said she thought it possible that someone could have done a walk through and evaluated the building for the crime during the annual open house that offices hold in the building which took place last Thursday.

A majority of the offices burglarized were open during that event.

The investigation to the burglary is ongoing. Detectives continued to be on the scene Tuesday morning.
Newton Police Lt. Scott Powell said that police were still taking reports and finding victims of the burglary and he’d hope to have more information on the crime in the coming days.

In May similar office break in took place at the Old Mill Building at 301 N. Main as well as at the Train Depot at 414 N Main St. Thieves made off with a little more than $500 in those cases.