BRANCH TOWNSHIP -- Just days after a volunteer fire company in Schuylkill County held its largest fundraiser, thieves broke into the firehouse and ransacked it looking for cash.
Members of the Good Intent Hose Company believe the thieves knew they just raised thousands of dollars.
“We came in the office, noticed it was trashed,” said John Bushar, the president of the Good Intent Hose Company.
Bushar showed the extensive damage done by whoever broke into their firehouse near Minersville.
It's not known what time it happened since the thieves took off with the surveillance equipment.
“The DVR sits there and it wasn't there. I said maybe somebody took it for repair like that,” said Bushar. “Then we looked up and the window's broken.”
The thieves ransacked the office as well as the register and drop box at the bar.
“We checked the register and saw that there was nothing in it. We checked our other register drawer that was cleaned out as well,” said Bushar.
Members are calling this break-in highly suspicious as they just held their annual and largest fundraiser this past Saturday. 1,400 people paid $40 each to ride ATV's on 25 miles of private property.
Now, they believe the people who broke in were among those here on Saturday.
“Absolutely, we're 100 percent sure. This place was open. We had a spaghetti dinner. We had bands, so anybody could have been in here to case the place, knew what they were doing,” said Bushar.
“Oh yes, very possible because they know the amount of income we probably took and that's what they were trying to get their hands on,” said member Robert Halye.
Members say the money raised on Saturday wasn't kept at the firehouse, so the thieves weren't able to get that, but the hose company will have to replace the stolen and damaged items.
“They destroyed the office, the window. It's going to take a lot of money to fix everything back up,” said Halye.
“It's a firehouse. We're here to serve the community. Any money we get goes towards the community, towards protection of our residents,” said Bushar.
The Good Intent Hose Company now has a GoFundMe account to help cover the costs of the break-in.