An investigation into overnight break-in at the Key Training Center’s campus off of Pleasant Grove Road in Inverness is in full swing, according to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office report.
The agency remained mum about the investigation late Thursday night, providing an incident report detailing the time of the 911 call, which came in at 9:17 a.m. Thursday morning.
Evidence of a break-in weren’t immediately noticeable, said Melissa Walker, executive director of the Key Training Center.
“It took us a while to really see the signs, because there were no signs of the suspect(s) breaking in or forcing entry,” Walker explained. “We are questioning how they got it in, many of our office doors were unlocked, but then there were signs of someone trying to pry doors open.”
While Walker and the staff were trying to take a complete inventory of items stolen, she said the thieves made off with a safe – that had nothing in it – and was bolted to the floor.
“You could see where the cement was torn, things were broken,” Walker said. “We’re still determining the value of our losses.”
But one of the biggest losses, Walker said, had several staff members shaken. Those items included gift certificates to various restaurants and trips to baseball and football games and other various outings.
“We were going to use these for the upcoming fashion show,” Walker explained, noting the Key Center Foundation does a wonderful job “in securing donations, gift cards and trips” for fundraisers. “Those items are going to be a little harder to track; that was really hard.”
In talking to one staff member, Walker said, what bothered them is those items were for the clients.
“The other stuff, we can replace that, we can replace this,” Walker said. “That was impacting and damaging our clients; that was very emotional for several staff members.”
Especially since the Key Center Foundation is tasked with raising 40 percent of the annual operating costs for the Key Training Center, Walker said.
“That’s a sizable amount of money,” Walker said the Foundation raises on a yearly basis.
It’s what the suspect(s) did take and didn’t take that was surprising.
“It took a while to go room-to-room,” Walker said. “In many cases, and this is very interesting, what they stole and what they left. Some of the items they left were very valuable.”
However, the biggest concern and question Walker and her staff have is how the suspect(s) entered the building.
“There are no clear signs of how they got in,” she said.
Walker praised both the sheriff’s office and the clients at the Inverness campus.
“We’re very thankful to the CCSO, they came out in full force today and really did a thorough job,” Walker said, noting they took photos, sectioned off areas within the Inverness campus.
But the clients, she said, deserve praise.
“We were a little concerned, with the presence of law enforcement at the campus, we thought there would be more client anxiety,” Walker said, “but we’re super proud of our clients; they handled the situation like troopers.”
The sheriff’s office is also investigation a break-in that occurred Tuesday night at the Church of Christ at 3875 S. Pleasant Grove Road.