Bosses heartache as Billericay Theatre targeted in break-in

The Billericay Theatre entrance

Article by Matthew Critchell: Crooks smashed their way into a community theatre and stole a till - leaving bosses furious as they recover from Covid-19.

The Billericay Theatre in Radford Way was targeted in the early hours of Wednesday (30th September).

Helen Arber, 38, theatre owner said it’s gut-wrenching and a huge blow. She said:

“I was the last to find out as I’ve been off work ill. The alarm went off and the manager went down there. She found the front door was smashed in but didn’t go inside and I think it will cost about £1,000 to fix all the damage. Police were called and my dad also came to help and a kind lady found the till near the train tracks. There was some money in the till. We’ve got CCTV footage and it was a group of three youngsters who came from the station. They were walking around the building for a little bit and tried the container at the back. There is only sets in there so they wouldn’t have got much. The footage shows one break the window with a brick and two go inside while one waits outside on the watch. I guess they knew they were on a time scale as the alarm was going off. This is the latest blow after the impact of the virus.”

The venue boss said they’ve been lucky as they have an outdoor space to be using for business.

She said the break-in makes a mockery of the teams hard work. She added:

“It’s just gut-wrenching for someone do to this when we have been struggling and working such long hours. It’s an awful thought that someone was in there and I cannot watch the CCTV as I will get too upset. I’ve been told about it from my manager who watched the video. The whole team is heartbroken by what’s happened to us.”

Ms Arber said her staff are a close team and the support from the community and customers has been amazing.

She said it’s made all the difference and she’s adamant they will not let this hold them back.

The boss said she runs the only theatre in Essex that’s still been running shows despite the pandemic.

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Article by Matthew Critchell, The Echo