Roberts Pool Ransacked in Burglary
Overnight Tuesday, someone broke into the snack bar at the public pool, damaged a handicap chair lift, and tried to make off with a cash register.
The hand-painted sign that greets guests to Roberts Pool, the most popular summer destination in Collingswood, clearly establishes some ground rules for use of the facilities.
Nowhere on it is there language reminding people not to hop the fence and smash up the snack bar—but after the events of Tuesday evening, a case could be made for some amendments.
Collingswood police were dispatched to the public pool Wednesday, June 20, at 5:30 a.m., to investigate a break-in at the concession stand. They discovered that someone had entered the building by breaking a small window near the door.
Once inside the perpetrator(s) attempted, unsuccessfully, to open the cash register, which police say contained no money. Hot dogs and candy were found missing from the stand inventory, and cleaning material was spilled on the floor.
According to police, a computer tower with non-essential information was also damaged in the break-in. So was a lift chair for the aid of handicapped guests, which was removed from its mount and thrown into the pool.
Police also determined that the lifeguard stand, a separate, secured building, also showed signed of attempted entry. Detectives on the scene processed physical evidence of the crimes, and an investigation is underway.
According to Corporal Tom Hartshaw of the Collingswood Police Department, Roberts Pool does not have a video surveillance system, and there was no security footage of the incident available.
Hartshaw did say that pool-hopping in town “hasn’t been a problem in the recent past.”
“The stuff they did didn’t make a lot of sense,” said Brian Gregg, 17, a third-year employee of the pool who works in the concession stand.
“They took our register and threw it in the baby pool.”
Although the incident happened on the eve of the Collingswood High School graduation, Gregg didn’t believe that the acts were connected with any out-of-hand celebrations.
“A majority of us were at Project Graduation at Rutgers Camden,” he said.
A request for comment from pool manager and Collingswood recreation director Nancy O’Neill—who also teaches health and physical education at Collingswood High School—received no response.
Multiple sources at Roberts Pool, who would not provide their names for publication, also acknowledged an earlier incident this season in which an unknown perpetrator may have defecated in the pool.
If true, either there is no police record of that incident or its details are unrelated to Tuesday's break-in and were not contained in that report.