Woman charged in Little League thefts

July 25, 2008 3:39:23 PM PDT
A volunteer with a Chester County little league program has been benched - by a judge that is. Police say they caught her stealing, thousands of dollars.

The league is wondering if it will ever get it back.

The focus in this case is on the woman who was selling hot dogs and soft drinks. 36-year old Gretchen Fay Vickers, a mini-van driving mom. Vickers oversaw the Avon Grove Area Little League's concession stands, like "The Home Plate."

But it's alleged Vickers had her hand in the till. A forensic audit of operations from 2003 to 2006 shows almost $75,000 went missing.

"I think it's disgusting. My son has gone through Little League here his whole life," said parent Jeanette Menendez.

"I coached my boys here two years ago," said Steve Muscolino.

Before he was a coach, Muscolino played little league here.

He says Vickers was a fixture, as for the allegations: "It just blows me away, 'cause you know it's like you take it from the kids. It's just shocking. I don't know what would have prompted her to do that."

In its 50th year the Avon Grove Area Little League is a big operation. Parents pays about $100 a kid to sign up. The fields are immaculate. Spring training can be at the Blue Rocks stadium in Wilmington.

There was no answer today at Vickers' modest Nottingham home. So far evidence doesn't show the missing money paid for extravagant living. The few records released by the state police show money spent at Walmart and Acme. Vickers' neighbor was stunned by the accusations of larceny.

"They've been great neighbors to us and it makes no sense to me," said Alisha Jobe.

The little league has so far declined comment. It's not clear if the loss will impact operations or if stricter financial safeguards are now in place.

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