ZACH Theatre increases security, requires volunteers to get background check

ZACH Theatre increases security after person steals safe. (KXAN photo)
ZACH Theatre increases security after person steals safe. (KXAN photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Before summer camps start, ZACH Theatre says they are ramping up security after the main theater was broken into over the Christmas holiday.

“The safe was stolen, it was removed on a dolly,” said ZACH Theatre Community Engagement Officer Rachel Applegate.

Applegate says the theater has already started making security changes. She says every door will be locked during business hours and all staff members now wear name badges.

“We actually have a robust alarm protocol for all of the staff to enter alarm codes at the end of the day, locking up process,” said Applegate.

What may be the biggest change will impact every single person who connects their name with the organization. It is now mandatory for volunteers of any age to get a background check.

“It’s standard practice for our employees, but we realized it’s not standard practice for our volunteers,” said Applegate.

In an email sent to hundreds of volunteers, the organization says they are now partnering with a consultant to audit and assess the security concerns. “One area of concern identified in the audit involves background checks and ZACH’s need to conduct them on all employees and volunteers (including minors), especially since we have so many children on our campus.”

Applegate says although the theater does have alarms, they are lacking one thing that could have helped them solve the crime. “Because we don’t have security cameras installed, APD had no leads for us at that point,” said Applegate.

She says the theater will be looking at the possibility of adding cameras to the building and even keypads to the doors. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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