The son of City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis, who spearheaded efforts to save The Glove Theatre, was among three young men charged Wednesday with breaking into the building Sunday night and stealing an estimated $14,000 worth of tools and equipment.
James C. DeSantis, 20, of Prospect Avenue; Corey A. Wollard, 17, of Sixth Avenue; and Shawn Hemstreet, 16, also of Sixth Avenue, were arrested Wednesday on counts of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary. A fourth suspect was being sought late Wednesday afternoon as the three defendants were awaiting arraignment in City Court.
Capt. James Lorenzoni of the Gloversville Police Department attributed the quick arrests to what he termed “old-fashioned detective work.” He said detectives also received information from individuals who reported seeing some activity near the theater the night of the burglary.
In addition, Lorenzoni said, a patrolman observed a young man carrying tools Monday night.
Most of the items, which included over $7,000 worth of tools and carpentry equipment as well as the theater’s sound boards, microphones and walkie-talkies, were recovered from a shed on the Sixth Avenue property where Wollard and Hemstreet reside.
Some items were not recovered as of Wednesday afternoon and are still being sought.
Police said additional charges may yet be filed against the suspects.
Theater officials had said Tuesday that someone with knowledge of the theater and where equipment was kept had to be involved.
Officials said James DeSantis was a longtime theater volunteer and was active with his father in the restoration project.
Lorenzoni said the investigation was a priority for the department because the burglary involved what he called “one of the cornerstones of our downtown.”
Efforts to reach Judge DeSantis, who has lately been assigned as acting Fulton County Family Court judge, were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Emily Grant, the theater’s executive director, expressed her satisfaction with the swiftness of the investigation.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to the police department,” she said. Grant said department officials kept her apprised of the investigation’s progress and showed “great care. I know they worked their tails off,” she said.
Grant acknowledged the efforts Judge DeSantis had made for the theater but was reluctant to discuss the arrest of his son.
“That’s a family matter,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to see a young man — and the other young men with him — fall off the track like that,” Grant said.
Theater board member Randall Etheredge, who owns and was using the carpentry equipment taken in the burglary, said he was impressed with the work of city police and with the response from the community when the theft was announced Tuesday.
“I come from a place where it would be just written off,” said Etheredge, who is active in the New York City theater community.
“I’ve been absolutely astounded and very impressed with everyone,” Etheredge said of police officers and those in the community who stepped forward to loan equipment to the theater.
Kingsboro Lumber loaned tools needed to complete sets before Friday’s opening of “Romance/Romance,” YMCA Executive Steve Serge offered a wireless microphone and someone else offered two soundboards, officials said.