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Bedford Hardware suffered a break-in early on the morning before Thanksgiving. Bedford City Police arrived in time to find the suspect — a six-point buck — still in the store. The suspect escaped and was last seen running into the ally on the other side of South Bridge Street.
“You hear this happen once in a while,” said Ben Shrader, a local surveyor who is noted for his wildlife photography. “They see themselves in the window, it’s mating season, and they want to crush the opposition. We’re in the midst of the deer mating season.”
The deer apparently saw its reflection and head-butted the door, cutting its nose in the process.
According to Officer Sara Dryden, a passer-by called police to report a deer in the store’s display window. Dryden was the first officer on the scene, followed by Sgt. Mike Heller. Both Dryden and Heller initially thought it was a prank call.
“Sure enough, there was a buck butting the glass,” said Dryden. “He was a good sized buck, too.”
“We got the call about it,” commented Heller. “I thought it was a joke, somebody making a prank call.”
Heller attempted to get a photo, but the deer finally found its way back out through the way it entered the store,, through the door. Both Heller and Dryden had to dodge it.
“All I saw was that big old head and antlers come through that door,” said Heller, noting that the buck missed Dryden by only a foot.
Police don’t plan to charge the deer with breaking and entering or property damage. The buck, however, may still have an encounter with local law enforcement as both Dryden and Heller are deer hunters.
“It’ll be the death penalty if I see it out hunting,” Heller commented.
The deer entered the store by smashing the glass in one of the hardware store’s doors. It wandered all the way through the store in an apparent effort to find its way out, before returning to the front. By the time police arrived, it was in one of the display windows and had totally trashed the display.
“We were going to be changing it out either today or tomorrow,” said Bill Mosley, the store’s owner. “Who knows what this will lead to.”
Mosley said he got the call that a buck was in his store at 7:15 a.m. Fortunately, virtually all the damage was limited to the door, a small window and the contents of the display window. He said that “Stove Man,” a regular feature in the window is going to need rehab and, possibly, plastic surgery.
The damage did not prevent the store from opening for business as usual and was repaired by day’s end.