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Dunbar art studio burglarized; irreplaceable items stolen

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 7:25 PM EST
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DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Dunbar police responded Saturday to the 1500 block of West Virginia Avenue after investigators say someone broke into an artist’s studio behind her home, gaining access through a window near the alley.

Police are investigating after a long list of items, both valuable and invaluable, were stolen from inside.

The studio belongs to mixed media artist Jann Hoke. She looked through the cabinets and drawers where things had been taken.

“These are just things that I had collected individually for my art family -- things, pieces I was going to make into wall sculptures, and it’s all gone,” Hoke said.

Among the many things stolen were four jars of international coins that both she and her parents has collected, boxes of vintage fabric, autographs, and whole drawers of collectibles.

“They did take a jar of scrap gold that I use in my jewelry making and they did take some scrap metal, but they took costume things, too. It was an odd mix,” Hoke said.

She said other things of value like a TV, electric tools, and canvases went untouched, although empty bins she said were worth $5 and her trash can were stolen.

Hoke said, two weeks ago, her studio was also broken into.

“Interestingly, I have a large mean dog and the two nights the person came, the dog was with my daughter out on our farm,” Hoke said.

She said usually her dog would bark if someone was around.

Most of the items stolen, Jann had collected for decades. The items she said were irreplaceable included the collection of 100-year-old movie star cards she owned.

“You collect them a few cards at a time, and they are expensive, and I had about 10,000 of them,” Hoke said.

Dunbar Police said they took some items in to collect possible fingerprints.

Hoke said if some helped her track down the items, she would offer a reward.

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