VETERANS DAY HEIST: More than $600 reported stolen from Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center


ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL)- Officials at a senior center in the Tri-Cities region said they feel violated, and upset after a break-in over Veterans Day weekend.

Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center Director, Kathy Dula, said when she came into the building Monday she discovered something wasn’t quite right.

“I went back in the kitchen and noticed the kitchen door was open, and when I looked at it, I realized it had been broken open, somebody had taken possibly a crowbar and pulled back the metal…and broken the lock and jerked the door open, so of course I called the police,” Dula said.

According to an Elizabethton Police report, there was a locked filing cabinet inside that was broken into—inside was approximately $600 in cash.

Dula said that money came from numerous fundraisers including their annual apple butter fundraiser, and a recent veterans breakfast.

“We had a veterans breakfast on Thursday and the veterans that brought guests, they paid $5, so I had $95 from that, then people had been paying on a Thanksgiving luncheon and I had money for that, and then I had cash from when we had been selling apple butter since Tuesday,” Dula said.

Friday afternoon we met members of the senior center like Paul Lane who said they couldn’t understand why someone would want to steal that money.

Lane said volunteers spend a lot of hours making that apple butter, and that it was upsetting to find out the cash from that fundraiser was stolen.

“We do a lot of hard work down there on three Tuesdays and somebody comes in and steals the money, that’s about as low as you can get…you know some idiot comes in, and that’s what it was an idiot, anybody that steals from a senior citizen has got to be as low as you can get,” Lane said.  

If there’s any good news that came out of this burglary it’s that Dula said they had surveillance cameras rolling.

Elizabethton Police Captain Shane Darling said while he couldn’t show us the video, he did confirm the incident was caught on camera. 

“That’s going to be a key element of us finding out who this was is that we do have video surveillance that shows the incident,” Darling said.

The Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center still has a limited supply of apple butter left for sale. If you are interested you can call them at 423-543-4362.

If you have any information about this incident you are asked to contact the Elizabethton Police Department at 423-542-4141. 

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