Burglar steals donations, does damage at Utica Dave & Buster’s

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 15, 2019

 A burglar swings a sledgehammer at an ATM inside the Utica Dave & Buster's Aug. 14.

A burglar swings a sledgehammer at an ATM inside the Utica Dave & Buster's Aug. 14.

Image from video provided by the Utica Police Department


UTICA — The Utica Police Department is looking for the public’s help to find a burglar who broke into Dave & Buster’s in Utica around 4 a.m. Aug. 14 and caused thousands of dollars in damage with a sledgehammer while breaking into an ATM and a video game machine that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The burglar reportedly used the hammer to break into the building through a window.

In a surveillance video, the burglar uses the sledgehammer to smash money out of the Make-A-Wish Foundation game and then pulls the game machine away from the ATM and begins smashing the money out of the ATM.

The suspect then left the building with the cash. 

“It definitely stands out, because the guy took money from Make-A-Wish Foundation. That money goes toward kids that are very, very sick. They’re looking for a release, they’re looking for a little bit of a break from chemotherapy and radiation and going to the doctor’s and getting poked by needles. They have a chance to go places based on the money that’s donated, and some guy comes in there and steals that money. He could have just taken the money from the safe or from the ATMs, but no, he had to take it a step further and take money from the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Utica Police Detective Greg Morabito.

Police hope the video and images can help lead to a suspect.

“If people know who is behind it, contact the Utica police or Crime Stoppers and let us know who it is so we can bring this guy to justice,” said Morabito.

He said the damage done totaled approximately $5,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Utica Police Department at (586) 731-2345 or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.