Vicious vandals in Vineland cause $8,000 in damage to youth league
VINELAND — About $8,000 worth of equipment belonging to the Vineland Blitz junior flag football league and cheerleading squad was stolen and vandalized after someone used a cinderblock to smash out a window, according to the league.
In addition to the stolen footballs, jerseys and supplies to help make the team coronavirus compliant, there was also several thousand dollars worth of damage to the trailer at Romano Park. Team president and founder Nick Basile told New Jersey 101.5 the vandalism was especially vicious.
"Stealing the stuff is one thing but the vandalism to stuff they could have easily stolen like an 80-inch TV we use to show film and stuff. Instead they felt the need to throw a football helmet through it. It looks like that trailer was turned upside down and right side up again. It's just insult to injury," Basile said.
Basile said the league with over 400 flag and tackle players and over 50 cheerleaders age 5-14 is still going through the trailer trying to figure out what they need for the season. The NFL helped make sure the flag football season started on schedule Saturday and Sunday shipping replacement game footballs overnight. The team has set up a GoFundMe page to help with buy new equipment.
"We're thrilled with the outpouring of generosity. People want to help the kids. We're so thankful," Basile said. "The kids are the real victims in all of this. Hopefully we can come together and make this organization whole again so that we can get back to the business of creating a fun and safe environment for these children."
Vineland police on Tuesday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.