Palo Alto police officers have searched the residences of the four Children's Theatre employees presently on administrative leave, reportedly confiscating computers, according to several sources.
"We conducted search warrants and I cannot comment on what we confiscated at this time," Police Chief Lynne Johnson replied in an e-mail to a query from the Weekly Tuesday afternoon.
But Phil Plymale, president of the City of Palo Alto chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said Tuesday the homes of Assistant Director Michael Litfin, Costume Supervisor Alison Williams and Box Office Assistant Richard Curtis -- all union members -- had been searched and computers were taken last week.
The employees, who were put on paid leave following the abrupt closure of the theater Jan. 24 due to a "financial crimes" investigation, were also instructed to stop talking to Plymale, he said.
The home of theatre Director Patricia Briggs also was searched.
The case is linked to thefts from the theater last summer, Johnson has said. Theater staff reported a printer, cash, coins and checks were missing on June 18, but later discovered other losses, including video equipment that was hard to find, according to sources.
About two weeks ago, theater staff again contacted police to inquire about progress on the theft investigation, Plymale said.
A week later, the theater was closed. It was reopened Monday for a rehearsal for the play, "The Giver," due to open Friday -- but city officials locked the theatre doors, allowing only cast members and parents in or out.
Johnson said Tuesday she did not know when the investigation, which is currently being conducted by one primary investigator, would be complete.
"We're working on it as fast as we can," she said. "It's so complex."