Nanaimo’s VI Raiders have been robbed of over $50,000 in football equipment.
In the past few years, the Jr football team has had to deal with several significant off-field incidents.
Last September, the team had their changeroom at Comox Field broken into with damages and some equipment theft estimated at $15,000.
In early August, a fire was deliberately set at their facility at Caledonia Park, charring the outside of their building and causing significant smoke damage to the interior.
Now, sometime overnight on August 31st, thieves broke into their equipment building at their Caledonia practice facility and stole an estimated $50,000 in practice and game equipment.
Police attended and noted significant pry marks to the metal door.
Once inside, thieves made off with a significant amount of equipment ranging from helmets, jerseys, pads, footballs, tents, compressors, head sets and various other pieces of equipment and tools.
“I am beyond frustrated. We’re trying our best to provide a positive development experience for these kids but it seems that just as we get past one setback, we’re hit with another one,” said Josh Williams, VP and General Manager of the Raiders.
“There is no sugar coating or minimizing the impact this theft will have on our team moving forward. Right now, I really don’t know how were going to recover from it”.
Investigators believe it would have taken thieves approximately 30 to 45 minutes to break in, haul the equipment off and take it away in waiting vehicles.
“At least two people with two or more vehicles had to be involved”, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
The Raiders are registered as a non-profit organization and rely solely on community sponsorships, and game day operations to fund their program.
Anyone with information, or who may have heard or seen something is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at (250)-754-2345.