The treasurer of the Carroll Players of Westminster was arrested yesterday and charged with stealing $23,000 from the little theater group's funds over a two-year period.
Arnold Thomas Vandervalk, 56, of the 100 block of Willis St., was arrested at his Westminster home about 1 p.m. by members of the criminal division of the city police department as the result of a two-month investigation, Lt. Dean A. Brewer reported.
Players member Marcia Bogash of Millers said she received a suicide letter from Mr. Vandervalk in late July.
She then called police, who were not able to find Mr. Vandervalk. He disappeared for about three weeks. When he returned, he gave the Players all the company's books, she said.
"He was a charming man, bright, articulate, an excellent actor. We all trusted him completely. He was a good friend," Mrs. Bogash said. "This has left us absolutely penniless. He took everything we had."
She said she wasn't sure what Mr. Vandervalk did for a living, but thought he was "some kind of entrepreneur" and is divorced.
"We are so confused by this and so devastated. I feel like I lost a valuable member of my family," Mrs. Bogash said. Creditors have been "kind," she said. But the alleged theft left the Players $6,500 to $7,000 in debt, she said.
Lieutenant Brewer said Mr. Vandervalk was treasurer of the Carroll Players Company Inc. from 1990 to July 1992. He is charged with writing 66 checks to himself, 40 of them for more than $300 each, and with failing to make a deposit of $1,600 and using that money himself, according to police reports.
Lieutenant Brewer said Mr. Vandervalk was taken into custody at his house after he failed to come to the police station in response to a request for his appearance that was left at the house earlier yesterday. Mr. Vandervalk was taken before a court commissioner and held on $100,000 bail.