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Burglar damages Circus World offices

A break-in at Circus World Museum early Monday led to damage inside several offices, but not to any historic artifacts.

Authorities are investigating a break-in at Circus World Museum in which a suspect allegedly damaged offices, fired a rifle and stole cash.

Baraboo Police Capt. Rob Sinden said the incident occurred during the early morning hours Monday.

“The suspect broke into the Circus World Museum office premises, broke several windows and rummaged through various offices,” he said. “The suspect then obtained a .22 caliber rifle from his nearby vehicle and re-entered the (museum) office area, fired several rounds through various windows and objects inside.”

Sinden said the suspect made off with several hundred dollars in cash and equipment from the office area. He said police have recovered a firearm and do have a suspect in the case.

Circus World Executive Director Scott O’Donnell said it seemed the person who broke in was more intent on causing damage than on stealing anything of value. He said three shots were fired inside the museum.

Garbage cans had been tipped over and plants had been tossed, O’Donnel said. In one room, an employee’s dumbbell had been thrown through his office window.

“It was unsettling but it could have been worse,” O’Donnel said. “One of us could have come in and come upon this perpetrator, which causes us to pause.”

O’Donnel said he does not have a dollar estimate on the damage, but hopes that insurance and restitution will pay for repairs. Fortunately, he said, none of the historic artifacts at the museum were damaged or stolen.

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