WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Eve Van Engel has spent 20 years helping residents pay for vet care for their pets. She was looking forward to the opening of her new donation center at Paws 2 Help , until she heard a thief had broken into the facility.
Eve said, "We were speechless, we almost all sat down in a pile and cried."
Tuesday morning, one of the workers came in and wanted to count the money that had been raised from Monday night's fundraiser. Instead, she found the lock had been broken, most of the money was gone and the only thing left was just the change.
Brian Miller, a board member, pointed out, "This is where he made his entrance, from the side door here."
He says surveillance video shows what happened. A man broke in through the back door then went for the money in the glass container.
"Because we did not count inventory our cash, we believe it was between, close to a thousand dollars. We have a range between 300 and a thousand dollars, " said Brian.
He called the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. One of the deputies recognized the man.
"When he saw the security tape he immediately said 'I know who it is, I know where he lives and I'll be right back,' " recalled Brian.
Eighteen-year-old Chiam Espinoza was arrested and charged with burglary. Meanwhile, the organization hopes others will help them financially to keep animal services available to the public.
Eve said, "We see 35 thousand animals a year here in this clinic. We are opening a new branch in Jupiter and we are looking at property south. We need to do this."