EAST STROUDSBURG -- It is quite a blow to the renovation of a downtown theater in one community. A thief broke in, stole donations for the theater makeover, and caused thousands of dollars in damages.
Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg tacked on an unwanted additional cost to its renovations after a thief broke in overnight.
Theater staff members say the crook did more damage than what was taken in cash.
Staff first got word of the break-in early Tuesday morning.
The place in East Stroudsburg is currently under renovation, so this break-in is not a cost they were expecting to add on. Now they are hoping the person responsible is caught.
Pocono Cinema president Courtney Tolino saw a broken door and shattered glass Tuesday morning after police called to tell her the theater was broken into overnight.
"I got a call around 6:40 from police letting us know that there was a break-in. So when I came here, the door was completely smashed, glass everywhere. They had thrown a rock through to get in," said Tolino.
The crook stole the entire register, a credit card machine, and a donation box.
The money in the box was being collected to help with theater renovation costs.
Newswatch 16 did a story last month about the extensive renovations.
"They probably only got away with under $50 in cash, but they did thousands in damage to the theater," Tolino said.
Police believe the thief may have taken off across Crystal Street. One clue is that the credit card machine that was taken from the cinema was actually found behind a tree there.
Stroud Area Regional Police took the machine into evidence.
It was found by Samantha Reish as she was walking into work.
"I picked it up and went to go ask people on the street. I went over to the diner and asked if they lost anything and she was like, 'No.' Then later on, she called me back and said she found out the Pocono got robbed and put two and two together," said Reish.
"That's terrible because they are renovating it, and they need all the money to get it refurbished and what a shame," said Debbie Burns. "How could somebody do that to our local theater?"