LONG BEACH - A thief got away with about $1,000 in cash, a laptop and an employee's wallet after burglarizing the Long Beach Playhouse earlier this month."A man was in the lobby asking about volunteering or working on an upcoming production," said Madison Mooney, business and operations manager at the community theater. "He seemed to know members of the staff by name and said he had an appointment to meet with one of them." As it turns out, the man had gotten the names from a volunteer who was working on the outdoor lighting. When the business manager left her desk for less than a minute to retrieve the mail, the person took the cash and her wallet. He apparently took the laptop either as he entered or exited through the back door. "What's disturbing is we are the second arts organization in a week to have this happen. And based on the description, it appears to be the same individual in both cases," said Andrew Vonderschmitt, producing artistic director. "As much as we have enjoyed having an open-door to the community at all times, we are now keeping all entrances locked and secured. We are hoping to install a security camera as well." The Long Beach Playhouse has already begun its annual campaign, seeking to bring in contributions to support its production and education programs. Now that campaign is even more important than ever, according to Vonderschmitt. "Our goal was to raise $50,000 from our community campaign, now we have to raise $52,000 to replace the stolen money and laptop," he said. "I hope the public will help us. We have been a city institution since 1929 - that's 83 years and we have every intention of being here for another 83 years. We hope the public will help us achieve that goal."
********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33