- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

WELTON, Iowa (AP) - An investigation of a barn theft in Welton has come to a standstill, for now.

The Quad-City Times (http://bit.ly/1y8KtT0 ) reports that according to the Clinton County Sheriff’s office, there are no suspects in the case of who stole a barn from the Ruggeberg farm. Sally Ruggeberg, who grew up on the farm, discovered that thieves had cut 24-foot-long sections of beams, walls and floors from the 100-year-old barn on March 10.

Ruggeberg believes that it was a crew that dismantled the barn, and they likely used power tools and a generator because electricity had been turned off at the property last fall.

Deputy Tom Christoffersen said Friday that a surveillance camera had been set up on the property to collect evidence if the thieves returned, but they never did. Christofferson said any new information would be followed up.

“I see barns falling in, and the atrophy is kind of a sin,” she said. “I was going to show that the Ruggebergs have got this. I was going to turn it into beautiful, usable land. I was going to do it respectfully, just as I have with the rest of the farm.

Ruggeberg had the house on the farm taken down and planned to remove the barn as well so the family would have a continuous 37 acres of tillable land. She created a salvage plan because she knew that the boards from the barn would be valuable and she wanted the dismantling process to be respectful.

“People could say, ‘So what?’” Sally said. “It was going to come down, anyway. But that’s not it at all. It’s the disrespect. It’s not like we put it out to the curb. It wasn’t our garbage. This is our land. It is not for the taking.”

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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