CANDIA — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying vandals that have been targeting the Candia Youth Athletics Association fields for months.
The most recent incident took place June 19 at the CYAA complex, home to soccer and baseball fields, a concession stand and a field house.
Officer Kevin Mahoney said the vandals, believed to be minors, broke windows in the concession stand building and tried to force open doors using a large soccer spike.
“They did damage to the locks and doors,” he said. “They were able to gain entry by unscrewing the lock off of a door and get into the building.”
Nothing was taken from the concession stand, and no damage was done inside. The CYAA uses the facility to store equipment, including a PA system.
Over the past few months, police have noticed an escalation in vandalism at the fields.
“It’s happened prior to this too over the years,” Mahoney said. “But now it seems to be more of a constant thing, whereas in the past they’d maybe just break a window and try to get in. It’d just be a one-shot deal, and none of the other properties would be touched.”
Mahoney said reports of damages first started coming in this year in April. In mid-May, he said, a group of juveniles broke into the field house and stole about $100 worth of baseballs and umpire equipment worth around $250.
“We don’t have any leads on these vandalism acts or thefts,” he said. “If the public does know, we’re asking that they give us a call here. That would be greatly appreciated because the association doesn’t really have the money for this to continue.”
Mahoney said CYAA is funded through community donations and participants’ registration fees, and operates on a tight budget. The youth baseball program is the most costly sport for the association to run, because of the amount of equipment and uniforms required.
“Anytime something like this happens, it sets them back,” Mahoney said.
Anyone with information about the thefts or vandalism is asked to contact Mahoney or Sgt. Scott Gallagher at the Candia Police Department, 483-2318.
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Katie Lannan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.