By SAM STOCKARD
It wasn't quite a Yankee invasion, but somebody broke into the Historic Rutherford County Courthouse over the weekend, stealing a couple of items and leaving folks a bit unnerved.
The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident and is armed with video of a man who parked on the south side of the courthouse around 11 p.m. Saturday. He then apparently busted a window and got into the reception area of the mayor's office around 5 a.m. Sunday, according to Mayor Ernest Burgess. The man's vehicle is believed to be a Volvo.
The suspect used one of the ground lights outside the courthouse to break out the window behind the desk of administrative assistant Vicki Taylor. He took a computer monitor and Taylor's chair.
The person didn't destroy, trash or vandalize anything else in that office area and didn't gain entrance to the mayor's office. He could have taken several glass collectible items on Taylor's desk but instead left only with her chair and monitor and not the computer.
"It just looks like somebody was probably feeling the spirits of some sort and just snapped," Burgess said. "All of that effort for little or nothing."
Taylor was answering phone calls Monday before lunch to let people know she was OK.
The window behind her was boarded up with plywood, and scuff marks were visible around the window where the culprit used the chair to knock out some of the glass to get out of the building. Officials found out about the break-in early Sunday.
Burgess, who is in his 11th year, said it was the first break-in to take place at the courthouse during his tenure as mayor.
Union troops controlled the courthouse for a period during a Civil War occupation before Confederate troops under the leadership of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest stormed the building to rescue Southerners being held prisoner there.