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Little League Ball Field Target Of Vandals

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Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 19:08:36-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Members of the Green Machine little league team don't just learn the game of baseball. They learn teamwork, pride and that hard work pays off.

Recently the nine ball fields they share with more than 400 other Clarksville kids has come under attack.

“This is where they took a pickaxe and tried to pick a hole through the door and tried to get through the block to get into the building,”  said League President Clint Moody.

Moody showed NewsChannel 5 the damage Monday evening.

Police think at least three kids hit the concession stand four times in the past three weeks. They successfully got inside twice.One suspect even left a pair of shoes behind and some tools.

What is surprising is the thieves are not after any expensive equipment.

“They basically just wiped out the entire candy rack,” Moody said.

To get their hands on candy and Gatorade they left up to $10,000 worth of damage, Moody said.

Parents and players say they're stunned.

“I was like who's gonna tear up their baseball field?” mom Alissa Mullins exclaimed, “they don't have much but to us it's a whole lot.”

The first time they broke in, they went through the concession stand’s front window. That was June 21. But after bolting the wood shut outside the window, the park says June 30 they actually used a pickaxe to chisel their way through the upstairs floor to drop in from above.

“Why would they do something to a nonprofit organization when all we do is we're here for the kids?” Moody asked.

As the park tries to raise money to fix the damage, 8-year-old members of the Green Machine say the whole thing makes them angry.

“It makes me feel that they don't care about our ball field,” said Kurtis Price.

And before their final tournament a message: leave our park alone.

They hope whoever is behind the felony theft and vandalism knows it's not just about candy - it's about kids.

“It's heartbreaking,” said Kurtis’s mom Trista.

Officers have stepped up patrols to the area and one spotted three people running away from the last break-in June 30.

They believe the same people are behind the vandalism and stolen food.

City council members Deanna McLaughlin and Pitts are hosting fundraisers to help raise $10,000 to help repair the park.

They published a Go Fund Me page  and say donations will be accepted at Planters Bank Branches in Clarksville under the name Stokes Field Repair Fund 

A $700 reward is being offered for anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.