Eight hundred dollars lost became more than $4,500 gained when the Hooker Brewery hosted a raffle Friday night to compensate for a donation jar stolen over the weekend.
Police are still searching for the person who broke into the Bloomfield business late Sunday night, but in the meantime, brewery owner Curt Cameron found a creative way to recover the stolen cash.
Tonight, Cameron raffled off the rock used to shatter the brewery window.
Although tickets went for just $1 apiece, the brewery collected $4,518 Friday night from local companies and the Rock Cats and expects another $2,500 to come in from Chaz and AJ at PLR radio, Cameron said.
The money will benefit a Hartford charity called Village For Children, which helps find housing for kids in need.
Cameras at the brewery caught the culprit throwing the raffled-off rock through a glass door Sunday night, then entering the building and swiping the donation jar off the from counter.
“It’s pretty obvious. The guy knew it was there. He was probably at one of our events, which he probably read what it was for. It didn’t matter to him,” said Cameron.
Cameron said he expected a big turnout at the raffle tonight.
“We have a nice plaque for it that says you rock thanks for supporting Village for Children,” he explained.
The brewery has received an outpouring of support since the jar was stolen. A number of people and businesses have donated thousands of dollars to make up for the loss.
“Every time we pick up the mail, more checks come in. It's really fantastic,” Cameron said.
Money for the new donation jar will now be stored in a secure place after hours.
“That’s a new procedure taking that thing and locking it up at night,” Cameron added.
The raffle at Hooker Brewery takes place tonight from 5-8 and is open to everyone.