Glendale performing arts theater targeted by burglar 3 times

Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 01:43:14-04

A Glendale youth performance theater is hoping the community can help identify the person responsible for breaking into the building several times over the last couple of months.

The mother of a young performing artist reached out to ABC15 Sunday after Spotlight Youth Theatre, near 43rd and Peoria avenues, was targeted by a burglar three times in six weeks.

According to the woman, after one of the break-ins, the community pitched in to buy cameras for the building. They were able to catch the suspect on their new surveillance equipment Saturday night.

Sarah Pansing, an actor at the theater, says she was shocked someone would target a nonprofit that brings so much joy to children's lives.

"It's kind of a home away from home," Pansing said. "It's heartbreaking and tragic to think that somebody would want to take from a community that gives so much to youth theater."

Phoenix police told ABC15 the theater did not report the first two burglaries but did confirm the robbery on Saturday is under investigation. 

Caprice Amerine, vice president of Spotlight, says she's hoping the break-ins will stop soon. 

"We need it to end," she said. "It takes up a lot of our time and effort away from the kids — which is our main focus."

Employees of the theater speculate that the suspect is possibly a transient due to the large homeless population in the area.

Dan Davis, an employee of Phoenix Conservatory of Music, said after seeing the story on the news he decided to donate money to support them.

"Being an employee of an art school, we should support the arts schools in the area," he said.

The nonprofit theater serves kids six to 19 years old from across the Valley.