Liberty Theater suffers damage for second time in three weeks
Editor's note: updated with video, including an interview with the theater's director
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Two hit-and-runs within the past couple of weeks have folks at a local historic theater wondering whether someone could be targeting the building.
Monday night, a hit-and-run driver sent a tree flying into the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro, Illinois, breaking a window and knocking down an outside planter.
It's the second incident there in as many weeks and the damage from each is almost identical.
Theater President Lois Murphy said her day started early Tuesday morning, when she found out the theater got hit again.
"I just came down the street and saw all the mess," said Murphy.
Another planter outside the theater got broken into two pieces. It's the same one mowed down weeks ago in a similar scenario.
The vehicle picked up a tree and took it right down the sidewalk, slamming part of it into the theater door.
Murphy said it seems like more than just a coincidence.
"It's just unbelievable," Murphy said. "I said people will think I'm making this up but certainly I am not."
But Murphysboro Police don't believe the two crashes are related. Investigators looked through video Tuesday from surveillance cameras on the courthouse but came away with no suspects.
"There is no sign out there at all of any paint scrapings or anything like that," said Murphy.
The cost for the repairs was about $600 last time and that included Murphy's husband Bill fixing the planter with his own hands.
"I do want a copy of those police reports," she said. "I'll put it in the records."
Murphy hopes police can track down who's behind the damage but she believes what's more important is making sure the building is around for years to come.
The Liberty Theater will turn 100 years old next year.
If you have any information, Murphysboro Police want to hear from you. You can reach them at (618) 684-2121.