North Idaho

Hayden Little League looking for ballpark vandals

Hayden Little League looking for ballpark vandals

HAYDEN, Idaho - Baseball is all about hitting and stealing, but lately the folks who frequent Croffoot Park in Hayden are tired of seeing it.

"Just the unfortunate part is that we've been hit so many times in a matter of four or five weeks," Hayden Little League President Tyson Davis said. "That's the hard part."

Davis said the fields have been vandalized five times since May 20.

The first incident came when the league was getting ready to have a big event and found that one of the sheds had been broken into.

"We opened it up and they had went in with a knife and cut Gatorade bottles open and pop cans and threw them in the freezer and froze them, they exploded in the freezer," Davis said.

The following four incidents were a little more costly. The suspects cut several chained-linked fences, spray painted foul language on the sheds, broke into several buildings and took a three thousand dollar utility trailer. Davis estimates that the suspects caused seven thousand dollars worth of damage.

"To have someone come out and tear it up the way they did, it's hard, very hard for us," Davis said.

He adds that the kids are pretty upset, especially since they're hosting a huge tournament in the next two weeks.

The league has already started to fix some of the vandalism and has filed claims on the stolen items.

"There's still a lot of work left to be done," Davis said. "I would say we're just hitting the surface. Next week is going to be our big week to get this all repaired."

Davis hopes the person will turn him or herself in and just help clean up the mess.

If that doesn't happen, the Hayden community has chipped in $1,000 as a reward for anyone with information that leads to the arrest. Anyone with information should contact the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office.

In the meantime, community members are taking turns watching the park at night until security cameras are installed.