Smashed doors, stolen ATM aside, bowling alley manager finds solace in caring customers

Bowling alley manager finding solace in caring customers after doors smashed and ATM stolen overnight. (WWMT)

The glass doors were shattered and the ATM machine had been ripped out of the building when David Fawley arrived at the bowling alley he manages.

He'd been summoned by the alarm system: It was 2:30 a.m. Thursday and something was wrong.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers also responded to the Continental Lanes on Vanrick Drive. A dozen police cars were already at the business when Fawley arrived. He soon learned that two mask-wearing thieves had smashed through the front doors and made off with the automatic teller machine. Surveillance video footage confirmed that it took the two thieves just seconds to lift and haul the ATM out of the front entrance area of the bowling alley.

The clean up took longer.

"It took us about an hour and a half to clean up the glass," Fawley said. "It's unfortunate, but nobody was hurt."

Still, it was a big mess to confront so early in the morning.

"You're thinking, I've got to get up at 3 o'clock in the morning and I've got to come down here,” Fawley said. “My assistant had just left at 12:30 a.m. and they are calling him at 2:30 a.m. He had been just getting to sleep."

Detectives said they coordinated a K-9 track soon after the break-in, but the suspects were not located.

Fawley said he has been working at the bowling alley since 1973 and he is thankful his security system was working properly and notified him about the break-in.

“It gives you peace of mind when you are home sleeping, when all your people have gone, someone is watching your place or listening,” Fawley said.

He also said he is taking an optimistic approach to the incident and getting support from customers.

"I've had customers stop in already today," Fawley said Thursday afternoon. "I guess it's curiosity just to see what's going on. I mean they are our customers, they care about our place also. It’s where they have their enjoyment. It's where they come to bowl and have dinner. They come to do whatever."

No one was injured and Fawley said nothing else was stolen. Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.

Read more:

Police search for suspect accused of break-in at Continental Lanes

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