Connecticut Trolley Museum rebounds from break-in
By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Wed., Aug. 3, 2011
East Windsor police responded to a burglar alarm at the Connecticut Trolley Museum at 2:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. By around 6 a.m. that morning, volunteers gathered at the museum to begin cleanup.
The museum’s corporate secretary, Tim Lesniak, said he received a call just after the break-in happened.
“[The police] found windows in the main display hall smashed and the air conditioner ripped out of the gift shop,” Lesniak said. The air conditioner had been removed for the vandal or vandals to enter the gift shop. Stolen items included cash, soda, candy and small toys.
Lesniak estimates the damage to be between $5,000 and $6,000. The major cost comes from the broken windows, he said. “The windows are energy-efficient and are a special size and specially made to look old,” he explained. “We’re very lucky there was no damage to exhibits or streetcars or artifacts.”
“It hits close to home,” said Morgan von Eisengrein, the museum’s event coordinator. Von Eisengrein, like many of the museum’s staff, is a volunteer. The museum is not funded by the state, but rather through donations and sponsorships. Several fundraisers are held throughout the year to raise money for various endeavors the museum looks to pursue.
The most recent fundraiser, a BBQ on the Line, was held to raise money to extend the track to Piney Ridge Park. When asked if the vandalism costs would redirect this money, Lesniak said, “That’s not going to happen. The money is going to be very tight for right now, but the money raised for a specific purpose can’t be touched.”
The museum is accepting donations for repair costs, and Lesniak said all donations are tax deductible. People can call the museum at 860-627-6540 for more information.
Even more than donating, Lesniak urged those in the community to contact the East Windsor Police Department if they had any information related to the break-in. As of Aug.2, a spokesman for the police department said no suspects were listed.
The Connecticut Trolley Museum will remain open, following its normal schedule, while repairs are made. Lesniak said the morning after the break-in, volunteers worked to clean and board up the broken windows, and the museum opened on time.
For more information on the Connecticut Trolley Museum and its upcoming events and fundraisers, visit www.ct-trolley.org.