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Vandals damage and steal equipment from Vineland youth football league

A youth football program in Cumberland County is out thousands of dollars after someone broke into a storage trailer and stole and damaged items.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2021, 1:21 AM

Updated 1,105 days ago

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A youth football program in Cumberland County is out thousands of dollars after someone broke into a storage trailer and stole and damaged items.
“It’s just like a punch in the gut. You can’t believe somebody would target a youth football organization like that,” says Vineland Blitz Junior Football League coach Gandalf Sollenberger.
Sollenberger says that he went to the trailer last week in Romano Park to find the door to the trailer damaged.
“I went to go in and the door wouldn’t open. A couple of inches and it was met with a lot of resistance. So I closed the door, went through the other door. I came in and as you walk through the trailer it got progressively more and more trashed and ransacked,” he says.
A window was shattered and some gear was missing.
"We had a bunch of helmets up there that just came back from reconditioning. They were gone,” says league secretary Christopher Morgan. “The whole box of flag footballs from the NFL - they had just shipped that to us for the games - that whole box was gone."
The league says that they are in the process of determining how much was taken and what other damage occurred.
“We’re probably conservatively at about $8,000,” Morgan says.
The Vineland Police Department is investigating.
“I know that football box, when I carried it in, it was a hefty box. So to carry something like that from here, somebody had to be driving,” Morgan says.
But despite the setback, the flag football season began on Sunday. The league is now hoping that the police will be able to find whoever is responsible.
“There’s no reason to steal. If these are kids stealing from us, I mean, we’re a program that would go out of our way for these kids, we really wood,” Morgan says.
The community is looking to raise more than $5,000 to help replace some of what was stolen or damaged. A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations.


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