NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A vandal and thief hit Noblesville Babe Ruth on Monday, the youth baseball league announced Tuesday.
The crime didn’t start all that late. Security cameras show someone hopping a fence around 6:30 p.m. Monday. The suspect prowled around, then came back around 11:30 p.m. and made off with tools and a flatbed trailer.
“It definitely could be worse,” said Eli Haskett, facilities director for the nonprofit league.
The thief stole a bag of tools from inside the concession stand at Noblesville Babe Ruth Baseball facility at Forest Park, then tried to get into the maintenance barn. Thankfully, the thief didn’t get inside and the siding was repaired.
In the end, the thief made off with a small, red flatbed trailer.
“The value of the stuff obviously can be replaced but the violation part of it is the worst part,” Haskett said.
The thief then walked the items to the far side where they tried to use tools to cut through the lock. When they couldn’t, they just tore the fence up and made off with them.
Haskett estimates the total value of missing items plus repairs is $2,000.
“To do that to an organization that’s here solely to support the kids and give them a recreational outlet especially in times like this where they really need it,” Haskett said. “To take from that is a pretty low blow I believe.”
Cameras at the Forest Park Aquatic Center next door captured the thief. Haskett said it’s one of several pieces of good luck. Also, if it wasn’t for a contractor working on the floors and grounds, it could have been weeks before the damage and thefts were discovered.
As it is, the thief left behind some forensic evidence for police and now everything is back to being secured.
Still, while the idea of cameras and a security system had been talked about in the past, it’s now a higher priority in a place not known for having a crime problem.
“You always want to be surprised by it in your own community, in your small town of course, but the desperate times that we’re in right now obviously you’re going to see some more desperate measures,” Haskett said.
News 8 reached out to Noblesville Police Department to get a copy of the security footage but was told investigators can’t release anything about an active case.
Haskett said someone later in the day Tuesday discovered another building in the park appeared to be damaged, so he hopes other cameras captured who did that damage.