Del. community helps little league team after equipment stolen

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Del. community helps little league team after equipment stolen.Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on March 23, 2018. (WPVI)

Police are searching for a thief who targeted a little league baseball team in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Roberto Clemente baseball league is a hit in the town.

The 5-year-old organization keeps lots of youngsters occupied with positive activity during the warmer months when school is out.

But days ago as league officials opened their storage shed to check on the gear and prepare for the start of this season in late April, there was shock and dismay.

The equipment was gone. It had all been stolen sometime between November and the beginning of March.

League vice-president Wilson Mercado said, "We lost 3 pitching machines, and about six teams worth of equipment. All the equipment was in bags for each team, helmets, bats, catcher's gear, and baseballs."
The bandits made off with more than $3500 worth of equipment purchased with money from volunteer fund-raisers and gear that came through private donations.

League sponsor Matt Keister said, "It's upsetting that they're stealing from the kids, not only are they stealing from the kids, but kids that are less fortunate."

Who that suspect might be is the subject of a police investigation, but the community is not throwing in the towel.

Friday the league leaders and parents launched a fish fry dinner sale for $5 per meal at one of their ball fields at 4th and Woodland, hoping to ensure opening the season on time on April 28. They say the response to their situation has been great so far.
Kiara Carrion of Wilmington said, "My mom texted me to come down here and support the team. And I just put it on Snapchat, so come down here and support."

The fish fry sale ends at 8 p.m. They are also accepting used equipment donations.

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