VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE) - Authorities are investigating after a string of thefts at several ball park concession stands.
14 News noticed a trend of these type of thefts over the last several weeks in police reports. Hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, stripped from already low-cost operating facilities.
McCutchanville Ball Park officials tell us they're warning other park officials to beef up their security. The park in northern Vanderburgh County has been hit twice in the last two weeks.
McCutchanville Oak Hill Recreational Activities Club President John Wahnsiedler showed us his H-D security system, catching the thieves in the act.
"They took picnic tables, stacked them, and then climbed up," Wahnsiedler showed us two busted out windows at one of the park's concession facilities. He says surveillance of the second incident, happening early Sunday morning, showed one thief taking a sledge hammer to bust out the windows."
[If you know anything about these recent ball park thefts, call the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office at (812) 421-6200.]
"You can see the mark in the siding where they apparently didn't have good aim the first time," Wahnsiedler pointed to a deep dent in the building's facade.
Wahnsiedler showed us security video from Sunday, revealing a group of five suspected juveniles stealing a couple of garbage cans, then filling them up full of candy and sodas and reeling them away out of sight. Wahnsiedler said he was sure from the surveillance video that the thieves are teenagers, saying he turned the footage over to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office to investigate.
"You're (not only) hurting yourself, but you're hurting these kids that are playing ball and all the work that the parents have put into the park," Wahnsiedler replied when asked what he would tell the group of thieves. "I don't know if you've had an anything ever stolen from you, but it hits you hard because you're like, 'hey, it's mine.' You feel violated," he said.
McCutchanville Ball Park isn't the only one that's experienced recent break-ins. Just this past weekend, someone broke into Kuester Field's concessions on Evansville's west side, and stole $400 dollars worth of candy.
Kuester Park officials said someone broke off the locks on the doors early Saturday. They say they're now wishing they had put up the security system they just purchased a lot sooner.
Wahnsiedler over at McCutchanville Park says a security system is a necessity nowadays.
"The security cameras are initial cost. But, each time we've had a problem, this surveillance has been able to--for the most part--catch them, or at least we know what happened."