SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A family-run circus visiting Savannah for only two nights was targeted in a robbery that wiped a day's profit in a matter of minutes.
Cirque Mundial is run by a family out of Florida, currently working and performing their way up the East Coast. They are performing for two nights at the Georgia National Guard Center in Savannah.
While an exact dollar amount couldn't be put on the amount of cash lost, any night where ticket sales are literally stolen can be devastating for this family of performers.
"We grew up. We were born in the business. So we pretty much know how to do a little bit of everything," said Martin Alvarez, a fourth generation circus performer.
Including preparing the night's cotton candy. All of this helps fund their family's passion: traveling and performing for others.
"The circus is a great family entertainment. It's the oldest form of family entertainment that there is," said Alvarez.
So when three thieves, seizing an opportunity and the cash from ticket sales for the first night ran out the door, so too did some of the shows financial backing.
"It really does hurt what happened last night, because we are trying to keep it alive. We are sacrificing ourselves. It's hard earned sweat that we do, day by day we take chances every time we perform," Alvarez said.
But the show must go on for the Alvarez family
"That's sad, because this family lives off that money. It's not a big time production. I know it's just what they make and the concessions and things that they sell, that's their livelihood," said Michelle Mulvehille, a Cirque Mundial viewer.
Mulvehill adds she hopes the big second-night crowd helps make up for the loss, and that the family comes again next year.
A local restaurant, Carlitos, found out about the robbery and started a GoFundMe account for the Cirque Mundial crew to help make up for what was stolen.
The suspects are described as three black men wearing hoodies. They were in the late teens to early 20's. One had gold teeth.
The suspects jumped into a white SUV waiting for them outside.