‘It’s kind of sad’: Thieves target Victoria little league team, again

'It's kind of sad': Thieves target Victoria little league team, again
The shelves inside National Little League's concession are bare after thieves looted the building sometime Saturday night.

National Little League in Victoria is pitching for help from the community in the aftermath of its third break-in this year.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last few years, and to have it diminished a little bit by these break-ins … it’s kind of sad, really,” said Don Moore, a longtime coach of the team.

Moore says thieves broke into the concession stand at Jerry Hale Field Saturday night after already looting the building and the nearby batting cage earlier this year.

“We’ve had another break-in. This is our second one in the last two, three weeks in our concession,” said Moore in an interview with CHEK News.

“Prior to that, we had a break-in in our batting cage. This has all happened within the last two, three months. We’ve got to get the word out and get people to keep an eye on the building if they can.”

The latest break-in, like the others, happened at the field on Hillside Avenue, and Moore says damage to the concession’s front window is extensive.

“We’ve lost over $500 in product each break-in,” he said, noting this time around, thieves looted pop and bags of chips and candy.

“We had a small float in there as well. That was all taken. The first time they broke in, they stole two microphones. From the batting cage, the legs to our pitching machine.”

That’s concerning for staff at National considering they operate a non-profit organization that relies on donations from the public.

“It takes away from what we’re trying to do here, and that is to build a program for the youth of our community,” explained Moore. “It kind of hurts the bottom line when we got to pay our bills at the end of the year.”

The little league team has been around since 1953, and Moore’s been a part of the team for nearly five decades. Only this year has been the worst for break-ins.

“We’ve had break-ins in the past, but nothing that I’ve ever seen now,” he said. “This is my 47th year at the park, and I’ve never seen break-ins to this extent.”

The thieves used a crowbar to break into the concession building, according to Moore, who thinks that was a challenge.

“The front window pegs are in cement, but somehow they’re getting crowbars in there and chipping away at it. We are installing an alarm system, so hopefully that’ll deter any future break-ins. And cameras as well,” he said.

They also left behind a mess, with “liquor bottles and things like that all over the place,” said Moore.

National didn’t report the theft to Victoria Police because surveillance cameras weren’t installed, so no thieves were caught in the act.

“We need to put more lighting in the area. At night time, it’s completely dark. You can’t see anything from the road,” said Moore.

He’s also asking locals to keep an eye out.

“The community’s been so supportive of us in the last 70 years, and hopefully they can support us in this as well,” he added. “And neighbours keep an eye out if they can. That would be terrific, until we get the security system installed at least.”

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Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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