BILLINGS — Barjon's Books has been a business in Billings since 1977 and in the years that Susan Powell has owned the store, she has never dealt with burglary. Until recently.
“I got a call from the maintenance man of the building around 7:30 Monday morning,” Powell said Wednesday. “Sue get down here, your back door is open and there’s stuff strewn everywhere.”
When she arrived at the store, located at 223 N. 29th St., she noticed several items missing, but one in particular stood out.
"It’s weird because that crystal was sitting there with no price, and there were two very expensive ones that they didn’t take,” she said.
Powell said a large, rare quartz was stolen from one of the display cases at the store. The crystal was not for sale and did not have a price on it. Whoever took it passed over the two other crystals, with prices around $1,500, and took the unlisted quartz.
The crystal was not for sale because it had meaning to Powell and she said it was going to be used for "healing" purposes. Nearly 40 years ago, Powell and her partner purchased the crystal. They later separated, and her ex kept the crystal in New York and Powell moved to Montana.
“Just last year, he finally sent it to me. He felt it was time for it to come here. There were plans for it in terms of earth healing and human-to-earth connection, those kinds of things,” she said.
Powell made a report with the Billings police on Monday morning. She also asked the public on social media to keep an eye out for the crystal.
“Police are working on it, and so many people are aware at least,” Powell said.
CEO of the Downtown Billings Alliance Katy Easton said that what happened at Barjon's is rare.
“As we look at crime statistics with our office, we’re finding that year over year calls for service to downtown are actually decreasing,” Easton said. “Downtown Billings is not a dangerous place. It’s a very safe place to be.”
Even though break-ins are rare, Easton said the Downtown Billings Alliance offers business owners in the area ways to prevent crime. Business owners can sign up for a free environment design property evaluation, and complete a Billings Police Department trespass agreement and de-escalation training.
Powell is hopeful the social media post will help bring the crystal back to her.
“I’m not angry at them, I’m sad. I’m broken-hearted,” she said.