September 21, 1998
Andrew Walgamott/staff photo
Darrell Anderson surveys his losses after the theft of antiques and clocks from Tic Toc Clock and Brass.
by Andrew Walgamott
WOODINVILLE--Twenty-four hours after he found out his business had been robbed of tens of thousands of dollars worth of antiques and clocks, Darrell Anderson was still realizing individual pieces were missing.
"Oh, they got my Batman clock," Darrell called out to his wife Kay Anderson from near the back of Tic Toc Clock and Brass last Monday (Sept. 14).
Everywhere they looked, something was missing. Watches, music boxes, clocks, toys, pottery, figurines. Display cases had been cleared, items taken off the walls, boxes emptied.
Years of collecting, attending auctions and careful work was gone. Darrell, a clock repairman, says his livelihood has gone with it as well. TheAndersons mouthed words like "heartbreaking" and "unreal" as they wandered around the compact shop in a state that wasn't far from tears.
In a choked voice, Kay said, "It makes you sick."
Pawn shops have been notified, and the Anderson's are looking for other ways to get the message out to other antique dealers who might be offered their goods.
Took 'cream of crop'
The total number of antiques and clocks missing from the store at 23128 State Route 9 near Fitz Auto Parts wasn't immediately known.
"Hundreds. It may be more, in the thousands. In this display case there were small toys," said the shop owner. Darrell estimated the dollar loss as being up to $100,000.
The burglary happened sometime between 6 p.m. Sept. 12 when the business closed and around 1 p.m. the next day when the Andersons were notified by their landlord things were amiss.
According to Snohomish County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen the bathroom window was missing.
"Some security bars on another window were placed under the bathroom window. It appears as if the suspects used them as a ladder," Jorgensen said.
Inside, the burglars knew what they were after.
"They went through and took the valuable pieces," said Darrell. "I had a 1934 hand-carved Mickey Mouse train that was worth $1,700. They had to work to get that."
"They knew. They took the cream of the crop," said Kay.
"They knew what they could sell quickly," Darrell echoes.
They also used an antique farm tool to open a display case, Jorgensen said, and apparently brought their own packing material as evidenced by a sheet of plastic bubbles Darrell said was left behind.
But it wasn't just Darrell's belongings that were stolen, either. Clocks he had been repairing for a Redmond firm were taken as well.
He said he had been in the process of moving out of the building, and while he's had items taken in the past, it's the first time he's been robbed to this extent.
Asked about his future plans, Darrell said, "It's putting me out of business. I'm not going to have other people's clocks that people can steal."
Inherited clock sets him on path
Darrell said he has been tinkering with clocks since he was a boy. He'd take his grandmother's chronometers apart but couldn't get them back together.
Finally, when he inherited one, his mom said he couldn't have it until he took a clock repair class and learn to fix it, he recalled.
Clock repair wasn't his main line of work, but he says he's been doing it for 25 years now. And after stints with Lockheed and Fluke, he got tired of retirement and went into business. Kay is a real estate broker with Windermere Northeast.
The antique side of the business Darrell describes as being like a "fever."
"You can't resist buying more stuff. You know the old saying, one man's junk is another man's treasure," he said. A lot of what he's collected while being along State Route 9 the past three years and the White Stallion for a number of years before that, came from estate sales as well as auctions.
But to paraphrase a line from the British poem Ulysses, "though much was taken, much remains" Old lanterns, a wooden Chinese junk, desks, typewriters, Hot Wheels, clocks, tools, clay figurines, and a Bardahl clock, among others, were left.
Darrell won't completely disappear.
He said he plans on continuing to repair his own clocks, as well as go to antique shows in the future.
He thinks the perpetrator was a recent customer. Between 50 and 100 have been coming in the past month, he estimated.
Jorgensen indicated the scenario was conceivable.
"Lots of burglars operate that way-walk in and pose as a customer. That's possible, but we don't know that," she said.
Whoever robbed the shop may have left behind what amounts to a sucker punch. On a case across from where Darrell works, a wind-up toy dog sits alone where other animated toys once were. Its red tongue sticks out at him.
Darrell said he takes that personally. "I think they did that on purpose, to say ha-ha," he said.
He doesn't take the burglary well. In a low, tight voice he rumbles, "The thing I'd love is to catch [him]."
Anyone with information can call the Snohomish County Sheriff's 24-hour line at (425) 388-3839; reference case number 98-018095.