Bleachers stolen from NJ football field

CAMDEN, N.J. - September 23, 2010

While there are aluminum bleachers on one side of the field, there are no longer any on the other. That is because the 12-foot-long set of aluminum bleachers were stolen earlier in the week.

All that remains is a bunch of nuts and bolts that used to hold the bleacher together.

Someone dismantled it and carted the parts away likely to be sold as scrap metal.

Galaxy Brown says she noticed men with a truck and thought they were city workers.

"We've seen some guys loading the bleachers up and we're like, 'okay, they're cleaning the park up, that's nice, a game must be coming,'" Brown said.

Only today did Brown find out she was watching a theft.

It appeared the thief also tried to work on another bleacher as it is missing a bench and handrails.

The neighborhood is impoverished. The children's football team, members of the Tri-County Midget Football League, takes youngster ages 5 to 14 and it's an important activity for them and the community.

"For someone to come in and take away part of what little bit we already have really bothers me," Coach Brad Hawkins said.

In the past, the team's equipment was stolen from a nearby storage container.

Coach James Wynn says it's hard to raise funds for the team when it's constantly victimized. The stolen bleacher just adds insult to injury.

"The children really need us here, so I don't think any one of the coaches or any one of the volunteers would ever give up on them, but it does make it very frustrating," Wynn said.

Officials say if anyone sees suspicious activity that involves removing anything from the playground to call police.

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