Tropicana Lanes co-owner Tino DiFranco said on a recent Friday evening, windows to vehicles were smashed.
“A group or gang - we don’t know how many - came in and broke five cars. Smash and grab,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate thing that happens. But that’s kind of the world we live in today.”
DiFranco says the incident is isolated. It has been at least two years since the Richmond Heights bowling alley has experienced so many break-ins.
Located on Clayton Road just east of Brentwood Boulevard, Tropicana Lanes is known for its large trademark sign and is home to several national and international events. Most recently, Tropicana hosted the NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship. The bowling center is popular for guests of all ages.
No criminal incidents have ever taken place inside the facility, DiFranco said.
The business has several security measures in place, including surveillance cameras and staff who regularly patrol the lot. But on the evening in question, the thief or thieves acted swiftly and ran off site.
“The Richmond Heights Police; they’re always patrolling our lot. Sometimes they’ll sit in the parking lot in their patrol cars. They protect us; they do a very nice job,” DiFranco said.
More lights will be added to the lot in the coming days. And staff will continue to check the lot during business hours, he said.