by Judy Reed
Shawn Kiphart, with Friends of Skinner Field, thought maybe this would be the year that they were going to make it through the
season without their concession stand being broken into. They had just one more Saturday of rocket football games left when they discovered last Friday morning that not only had they been broken into, but major theft and vandalism were also part of the crime.
“Last year we were broken into twice, and the year before we were broken into twice,” explained Kiphart. “In years past they just took some candy or pop, and left everything else alone. But this year was different. It was more violent.”
It wasn’t as simple as getting through a window. The suspects kicked in a heavy metal door.
Photos showed extensive vandalism on the inside of the concession stand. The suspects stole a couple of major appliances, along with all the candy and cases of soda pop. They dumped out all the chips and used the totes to carry other items. They also dumped stuff out of the freezer onto the floor, including bags of ice.
After being broken into last year, the group decided to install a trail cam in the concession stand. The suspects tried to obscure the camera’s lens by smearing nacho cheese on it, but it caught video of them in the act. There appeared to be at least three males caught
The concession stand wasn’t the only building they broke into. They also smashed a front window on the tower, and
broke into two other buildings near the concession stand.
The break-in happened between midnight and 2 a.m. Houses line the streets surrounding Skinner Field at Morley Park, but no one in the area reported hearing anything suspicious. “They had to be really whaling on that door and nobody reported anything,” said Deputy Jason VanDyke. “We need people to pay attention and report anything suspicious.”
Police suspect that that these same suspects may be involved in the
theft at Veteran’s Memorial Park, and several car larcenies in the area. If you have any information on this break-in, recognize anyone in the photos, or the clothing, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.