There have been few visitors to Pauls Valley's closed hospital building over the past year plus, that is until an unwelcome guest forced his way inside this week.

With the exception of an urgent care center opening just days ago in the hospital's former emergency room area, the building has been closed to the public since the full operations were shut down there in October 2018.

Now PV authorities believe one male suspect took his time looking through the entire building after forcing his way in during the early morning hours Thursday, Jan. 9.

“It was forced entry and the suspect spent three or four hours in there,” Pauls Valley Police Chief Mitch McGill said.

“We believe it was one male suspect and he was looking for something, maybe drugs. It looked like he went through every drawer in the entire hospital.”

That includes the closed portion of the building and the now open urgent care center.

According to the chief, the suspect is seen from surveillance footage wearing a hoodie.

“His face was covered; all you could see were his eyes.”

The good news is it appears little was taken, while the bad news is there were some damages to the building.

“He didn't take a whole lot of anything, nothing of great value.”

As for the security at the building, McGill says it's patrolled on a daily basis by his officers.

“We do our best to patrol that hospital building, just like any other building in town.

“It was not visible from where you drive around,” he said about the forced entry point coming at a spot not easily seen during the dark overnight hours.

“There were no windows broken or doors propped open, which is something our officers would have seen.”

The chief does admit the damages that did occur to the building could impact any efforts to get a full hospital back open.

“I don't know how that's going to effect that. It's a little bit of a setback. All that damage has to be fixed before the hospital could be opened back up.”

The building owned by the city of PV is being leased by the Southern Plains Medical Group, which opened the urgent care center on Jan. 2 and has announced its intention to open a full hospital there later this year.

•••

With a traffic accident involving a school bus there was some good news.

There were no injuries reported after a vehicle struck the back of a bus Thursday afternoon near Pecan and North streets.

“The car went under the bus, but it looked worse than it was because no one was hurt,” McGill adds.

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