Burglars take more than $18,000 worth of historic relics from Joyce store

JOYCE — Port Angeles historic relics, rare antiques and family genealogy records were among the items stolen from Port Crescent Trading Co. in Joyce, authorities said Thursday.

Store owner Doug Schwab and Deputy Nathan Clark of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office have identified more than $18,000 worth of property stolen between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, and they continue to document more items.

“They went through every drawer in the store,” Schwab said.

Other stolen items include a .32-caliber breech loader pistol, a small gun circa the 1940s, knives, fantasy swords, machetes, guitars, speakers, stage equipment and an assortment of antiques — baseball cards, postage stamps, rare photographs, coins and comics, Schwab said.

The sheriff’s office is unsure how many burglars broke into the store, but authorities believe the forced-entry burglary occurred between closing time Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and opening time Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

No suspects or eyewitnesses have been identified, Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said Thursday.

The sheriff’s office seeks help from the public. Any information about the burglary should be directed to Clark, who can be reached through dispatchers at 360-417-2459.

This loss will prove a new challenge for Schwab, who said it’s been difficult to keep the store running recently because of health problems.

But this isn’t the first obstacle he’s faced and probably won’t be his last.

“I’ve managed to stay open,” he said, “even through the hard times in 2008.”

Schwab finds motivation in the Joyce community and in the place the Port Crescent Trading Co. has come to fill.

Near the Joyce General Store, the Port Crescent Trading Co. complements other local businesses, he said.

It’s the only store in the area that still rents DVDs, and Schwab tries to invite the community in by making it a “family-friendly” environment. Before they were stolen, Schwab would leave his personal guitars out in the open so kids could play.

His store was always stocked with North Olympic Peninsula relics, from 2,000 Poll Parrot Shoes certificates to 100 Port Angeles centennial 1962 coins, which drew locals and tourists alike, he said. His display case of Port Angeles memorabilia is a special point of pride.

“I hate the idea of tourists coming to Port Angeles and buying a memento from China,” Schwab said. “They can take a piece of Port Angeles with them.”

Schwab purchased the building for the Port Crescent Trading Co. eight years ago when his side business of buying and selling vintage items on eBay and Amazon became a bit more than a hobby.

“It kind of got too big for my britches,” he said.

So, he brought his virtual hobby to a brick-and-mortar fixture in the community.

Now, Schwab must consider next steps after the burglary. He has compiled a list of missing items on the store’s Facebook page and asks that people look out for his belongings around the area.

“I just got kicked in the face,” Schwab said. “Now, I have to think about what to do.”

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Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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