Suffolk football team targeted by thieves

Posted at 5:00 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 19:07:46-04

From floor to ceiling, the shed at John F. Kennedy Middle School used to be packed high with shoulder pads, football pants, mouth guards, and chin straps.

But -- not anymore.

The founder of the Suffolk Steelers, David Baker, says someone broke into the shed and stole thousands of dollars worth of gear.

"When [the team president] called and told me, I cried. I cried that somebody to come out here and do that to us," Baker said.

Baker started the team 45 years ago. He describes the Steelers as an inner city league, geared to keep kids on the right track.

"It's more than football. It's more like a family. We got to church, we tutor them, we feed them."

Now, playing football may be a problem since their gear was stolen just a few months before the season starts.

He says the thieves took 20 pairs of football pants, 34 shoulder pads, 100 mouth pieces, and 30 chin straps.

"I've never seen someone steal from kids before. That's what hurts so bad when you're doing all you can do," Baker added.

Baker says he often pays out of his own pocket for kids who can't afford to play

"Some of them don't have the money to play. You can't tell a six year old he can't play money because his mom and dad don't have the money," he said.

Since the equipment was stolen, Baker started mowing lawns to raise money to replace the stolen gear.

"We are gonna get it, even if I have to pay out of my own pocket," he said.

Suffolk police say there weren't any witnesses. If you know anything that could help police, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.