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Thieves Steal $7K In Equipment From Little League Team In Hayward

HAYWARD (CBS SF) -- Some thieves in the East Bay just hit a new low, by stealing an estimated $7,000 from a group of young Little League players.

The theft occurred around 9:45 p.m. Sunday at the Tennyson American Little League's clubhouse at Sorensdale Park, behind Tennyson High School, league treasurer Jody Perry said.

An alarm system was set up at the clubhouse and there are false alarms every week, she said.

The alarm triggered on Sunday night and when the league's president, Christina Mathewson, checked on the clubhouse, she discovered the theft, according to Perry.

It appears a window was pried open and the safe containing money from the league's Otis Spunkmeyer fundraiser was stolen, she said.

"It is a such a disappointing, disgusted feeling," Matthewson told KPIX 5.

The league has yet to determine the total amount lost on Sunday, but Perry estimated it was $7,000 intended to pay costs including rent to play at the park's fields and to keep the league's charter, Perry said.

When she found out about the theft, Perry said she "felt violated."

"I'm the treasurer, I instantly I feel it's my fault," Perry said.

The league's money is normally kept at the bank, but over the weekend Perry said she and Mathewson decided to keep the funds at the clubhouse since they needed to figure out who didn't turn in their money.

Perry said the fundraiser money was due on Saturday and she suspected someone who was aware of the collection played a role in the burglary.

In light of the theft, the league is working to repair the window and order a new safe, Perry said.

They are also looking into installing security cameras and a speaker to hear anyone who may trespass at the clubhouse, she said.

The league's season ends in May and this year there are a total of 192 players ranging from 4 to 18 years old, according to Perry.

Daniel Lee, who plays in the league, said the money could have been used for all star jerseys. "It matters because you try so hard," Lee said.

"We don't deserve for all the money to just go away like that," said Little League player Alec Servin.

Parent Jorge Servin told KPIX 5 that the theft, "affects all of the children, all the people, parents, friends worked hard to gather up that money."

Insurance will help cover the lost money after the league pays a $1,000 deductible, she said.

The team is offering a $1,000 reward for more information leading to an arrest of the person or persons responsible for the theft.

Donations can be made to the Tennyson American Little League at P.O. Box 3355, Hayward, CA 94544.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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