BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Little leagues seem to be a continued target for thieves across our state. The latest victim is Belen Little League which estimates it lost more than $10,000 worth of equipment in a burglary this week.
Saturday night, there was an already-scheduled Home Run Derby fundraiser. It came at a good time as the league was just burglarized this week. “That is really awful because they work so hard,” a grandparent of one of the kids on the team said. “They want to play. They have been in quarantine and everything, and they are excited to come back out.”
League President Steven Gonzales said the thieves took off with $10,000 to $15,000 worth of equipment including a lawnmower, bases, pitching mound, and more. “Where we store our equipment, we found the padlocks cut off and thrown on the ground,” Gonzales said. “When we gained access, we saw it was empty.”
Gonzales said they have filed a report with Belen Police, but said this is an ongoing issue. He said the league has been burglarized at least once a year for the past few years. “We are going to tie in with the city to see options about extra cameras and patrol from the police department,” Gonzales said.
This comes just weeks after two Albuquerque little leagues also had break-ins. Families in Belen said they hope the fundraiser helps replace what has been stolen.
The league does not have surveillance video of the equipment being stolen. Gonzales said Enchantment and Yucca little leagues have offered to help them.