Community raises over $10,000 to help Lamplight Theatre following theft

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – The Tri-Cities community raised $11,405 for a Kingsport-based Christian summer camp for underprivileged children following the recent theft of thousands of dollars from a safe.

Kingsport Police are still looking for the people accused of stealing the money from the theatre on July 4. Police believe 26-year-old Ridgemond Mosley of Kingsport is one of the suspects who stole the money from the downtown Kingsport theatre.

The president of the theatre, Billy Wayne Arrington, tells News Channel 11 the theatre has actually helped him in the past and an employee recognized Mosley from their surveillance cameras.

Officers say Mosley and another person stole cash, a check for $3500 dollars and a Lowe’s credit card. Theatre officials estimate the loss at around $5,000.

That money was supposed to help send nearly 200 children in the middle school group to the theatre’s “I’m Accepted” summer camp next week.

Friday night, the theatre held a spaghetti dinner, taking donations. Lamplight officials tell us as a result of multiple spaghetti dinners and donations they’ve raised more than double what they lost, $11,405.66 in just three days. Friday’s spaghetti dinners alone raised $5,152.17.

Arrington described when he first heard their safe was stolen, “she came running in, one of the executive administrators and said, the safe is missing!” Arrington said. He said he still doesn’t understand why someone would steal from a ministry that gives and if the people believed to be responsible would have asked for the money they would have done their best to make it happen.

“It takes about $20,000 to get the kids to camp,” Arrington said, referring to the camp’s programs over the summer.

Arrington said the theft was a blow to everyone at the theatre and they didn’t know how they were going to recover. He added that seeing the amount of people who came out to the dinners and donated their money was humbling, thanking everyone for their support.

Support that helps children like 11-year-old Laiken Mitchell attend the summer camp.

“I’m so grateful for the people who gave,” Mitchell said.

Now thousand of dollars are ready to go to let children create memories.

“You stay in contact with them and you see how their lives all because of what god’s done,” camp counselor, Hannah Spurlin said.

Arrington said he believes the thieves came in through a hatch on the roof. They’ve since added more security cameras and locks to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Detectives have obtained a warrant for Mosley’s arrest, initially charging him with Burglary and Theft over $2,500, both felony charges.

Right now police are still looking for Ridgemond Mosley. If you see him or have any information on where he might be or a possible accomplice, call Kingsport Police Detectives at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

You can also submit tips anonymously at: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/police-department/contact-us/

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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