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Willows Masonic building vandalized
Vandals broke into the historic Masonic building on Butte Street in Willows sometime before 8 a.m. Thursday and caused at least $100,000 worth of damage, police officials said.
The building houses the Glenn County Superior Court SHARP Office, and employees discovered the damage when they arrived at work.
Fire Chief Wayne Peabody initially determined a flooded second floor had caused the ceiling to collapse, but firefighters soon discovered the damage was the result of a criminal act.
Police Chief Bill Spears said someone broke into the building on the upper floor and vandalized various parts of the three-story building.
They also reportedly broke the upstairs toilets causing water to flood the ceiling of the SHARP office.
The weight of the water eventually collapsed the ceiling, officials said.
The vandalism remains under investigation by the Willows Police Department and the state Department of Justice, and Spears hopes anyone with information will come forward.
Downtown business owners, watching the activity on Thursday, said they have often seen the back door and windows of the historic building left unsecured.
The Masonic building is the tallest and one of the oldest buildings in Willows, dating back more than 100 years.
Initial damage estimates were placed at $100,000, Spears said, but that figure could go higher as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Jason Dahl at 934-3456.