A public piggy bank to support the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild could not be cracked.
An alleged perpetrator attempted to gain access to the money, donated through the slot on the top of the pig.
On Jan. 14, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office received a report of vandalism on the steel and concrete statue located outside of Brickworks at 150 Nichols St. Children are often seen sitting on the pig; other times it’s adorned in a costume fitting the season.
According to the police report, pieces of the sculpture were chipped off. Money is accessed through the statue’s locked door, located on the pig’s rear end; its curly tail is the handle.
Susan Wampler, a San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild board member, estimated the value of the statue is $15,000, but its symbolism is priceless.
“It’s a place where people put their spare change to support the agricultural guild and Brickworks operations,” said Wampler.
The agricultural guild restored the Brickworks building and operates it. Brickworks holds community events.
A surveillance video, operated by Town of Friday Harbor, did not capture any footage of the alleged crime, according to Town Administrator Duncan Wilson. He said the camera holds 48-hours of footage, so the alleged vandalism could have occurred prior to when the town was notified.
San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs said the vandalism may have been caused by an inebriated person, as there were many broken flower pots nearby. Krebs is also not ruling out that the vandalism is connected to the six alleged thefts reported at local businesses over the last two months of 2017. He assumes that the alleged thefts are related, but the vandalism connection is still unclear.
“Everyone walks past the pig, but I wouldn’t be surprised [if the alleged crimes were related],” he said.
If you have info on these alleged crimes, call the sheriff’s office at 360-378-4151.