South Howell, NJ Little League offers reward for info on vandalism
HOWELL — A Little League that plays its games in late summer and fall finds itself scrambling after its snack bar and equipment room were vandalized.
The Howell South Little League’s snack bar and equipment room at the fields in Deerwood Park in the Ramtown section was broken into late Thursday night or early Friday morning, according to South League president Rory Durnin.
Snacks but no money were stolen and the roll-up security doors have to be replaced because they were pried open.
The league is three weeks from the start of the season, lending a sense of urgency to repairs. Around 300 kids between the ages of 4 and 16 play in the league.
"The biggest concern is that they stole a spare set of keys for every lock within the complex. Now we have to have everything rekeyed professionally by a locksmith," Durnin told New Jersey 101.5. "That's not easy for us to recoup."
Durnin said that money spent on repairs is less than can be spent on the kids. With that in mind, a GoFundMe page was created to help pay for the repairs. Because it's the second time within a year the stand has been vandalized Durnin said they're going to upgrade. He estimates the cost at $5,000-$6,000.
Some areas businesses have offered their products at cost to the league, according to Durnin.
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Durnin said the equipment room was not opened by the thieves although there's no game equipment like bats and balls stored there yet.
Considering it's the second time within a year the room has been robbed is there something thieves could be looking for?
"I don't believe so. The cash register was untouched as far as we know. There was no money in there to take anyhow. We don't keep any high-value items in that area of the building," Durnin said.
There is also no video footage to check as the league doesn't own the property and can't install cameras. The township has suggested they would put up the cameras but so far hasn't come through.
Durnin said the league is offering a $300 reward and a year of free registration for information leading to the identification of those responsible. Tips can be sent to the league via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Howell Township Police Department’s non-emergency number 732-938-4111.