As many people waking up Friday, Nov. 29, began Christmas shopping and preparing for Saturday’s impending blizzard, the owners of the Quilted Dog in Cloquet walked in to find their store had been burglarized.

Owners Mary and Gerry Thompson closed the store along Minnesota Highway 33 on Wednesday, Nov. 28, after the snowstorm the night before. When they returned Friday morning after Thanksgiving, they found someone had broken in and stolen a variety of items: cash, quilts made by Mary Thompson and customers, bolts of fabric, furniture and candy sold at the register.

“They even took the toilet paper,” Thompson said.

Ironically, she had a security system they planned to install this week that was also stolen.

Some quilts stolen from the Quilted Dog in Cloquet weren't even the property of owners Mary and Gerry Thompson. Some customers left their handmade products at the store to have a professional add backing and had not picked them yet. (Photo courtesy of Mary Thompson)
Some quilts stolen from the Quilted Dog in Cloquet weren't even the property of owners Mary and Gerry Thompson. Some customers left their handmade products at the store to have a professional add backing and had not picked them yet. (Photo courtesy of Mary Thompson)

Thompson estimated $10,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, including quilts belonging to customers and another that she planned to donate to the 2020 Cloquet Color Run.

The quilts belonging to the customers were possibly the most valuable, not just because of the time spent to make them but because of the materials they are made with.

“The average person doesn’t realize the value of these quilts,” Thompson said. “Some of these are family heirlooms — they’re not something people just throw together.”

The quilts are sometimes made of a grandmother’s apron or a grandfather’s ties. Sometimes grieving parents will use the clothing of a deceased child to make a quilt, according to Mary. The customers’ quilts were waiting to be picked up.

Thieves used a lawn chair from a back deck at the Quilted Dog in Cloquet to break a window to get into the shop. Owner Mary Thompson estimated up to $10,000 worth of merchandise and cash was stolen from the store. (Photo courtesy of the Cloquet Police Department)
Thieves used a lawn chair from a back deck at the Quilted Dog in Cloquet to break a window to get into the shop. Owner Mary Thompson estimated up to $10,000 worth of merchandise and cash was stolen from the store. (Photo courtesy of the Cloquet Police Department)

The Cloquet Police Department is investigating the burglary. Mary was told to reach out to other quilt and fabric shops in the region to let them know about the crime and what was taken in the event the items show up at other stores. Interim Cloquet Police Chief Derek Randall Randall said there have been 33 burglaries in Cloquet in so far 2019— 10 at local businesses.

While the crime has been difficult for the Thompsons, many customers and friends have offered to help create some new samples and help clean up the mess left behind.

“I’ve never really thought ill of people, but this really tests it,” Mary said. “But then you have people offer to help ... it really restored my faith in humanity.”

Anyone with information about the burglary at the Quilted Dog or any other burglary in Cloquet should call the CPD at 218-879-1247.