RUTLAND — Maggie Fish and her husband thought they had the movie theater all to themselves when they came to Flagship Cinemas in Rutland on Sunday night.
“The theater was empty except for us, so we sat in the third row,” the 64-year-old Pittsford resident said Tuesday. “It was unexpected.”
But the couple didn’t stay alone for long. Awhile after the movie started, Fish said, she heard someone enter the screening room and sit down behind her.
A little while later, she heard the person leave. But the distraction hardly registered for Fish and her husband, Bob, who were watching the historical epic “Lincoln.”
“We were engrossed in the movie,” she said.
The first indication that something was wrong didn’t come until the credits started rolling at the end of the 150-minute film.
When her husband went to grab his leather jacket — a Christmas gift she bought for him a few years ago — it was missing from the seat where he had set it.
Fish said they searched in vain and then asked employees at the concession stand if someone had turned the jacket in there. They had not.
“I decided the police needed to know that there had been a theft in the theater so I called them up, and the dispatcher who answered said, ‘Oh, Maggie Fish. Your car was stolen and found crashed into a ditch at the end of Killington Avenue,’” she said.
Fish and her husband learned that while they were watching the movie, someone else had been watching them — and waiting to steal the jacket.
With that article in hand, the thief also had the keys to the couple’s 2002 Cadillac De Ville, which Rutland police say was traveling at high speed when it crashed into a tree.
The car was totaled, but the driver wasn’t found. Neither was the extra-large brown leather jacket that was taken from the theater.
City police said they have requested surveillance video from a number of stores at the Rutland Shopping Plaza — including Flagship Cinemas — but as of Tuesday afternoon no arrests had been made.
“We’re continuing to investigate the case,” said Rutland Police Sgt. John Sly, who said thefts from the city’s only movie theater were very uncommon.
Management at the theater said Tuesday that they too were shocked by the theft, which has prompted increased security measures — including discussion about internal video surveillance — at the theater.
Fish said more video surveillance was one of the things she would like to see added.
But just as important, she said, is a sense of vigilance.
While Fish said she has tried to be cautious with her purse and other belongings when away from home, she said she and her husband took no precautions at the movies.
“I never even thought about it,” she said. “I wanted to reach out about what happened to me because I feel that there are others in the community as naive as me and my husband who might feel just as safe as we did. I don’t want them to make the same mistake.”
brent.curtis @rutlandherald.comMORE IN Vermont News
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