Dover, Florida -- Thieves broke into the Williams Owens Pass Sports Complex and stole thousands in groceries and equipment only a day before the season started.
The Dover Patriots play at the complex and their cheerleading and football league is set to start Saturday, August 10. The thieves were able to walk away with $7,500 in groceries and equipment belonging to the Dover Patriots.
The thieves also went two equipment buildings and took cheerleaders' t-shirts, uniforms and 40 pairs of Nike shoes. Football players cleats, mouth pieces and chin guards were also stolen.
"They stole from these kids really did," says team president Dawn Pennachietti.
Team leaders say the break-in happened sometime after practice Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
Dawns estimates about $4,500 worth of food was stolen. The food is used as concession items that are sold during practice as a way for the team to raise money. Dawn says, "There's no way for us to recoup that huge blow to us."
As word of the burglary spreads in the community, people are reaching out to help. Hillsborough educator, Mark Kenney has donated $500. Kenney says, "They deserve every chance I had growing up. Step up 10 dollars, 5 dollars every little bit helps."
Tomorrow's game is away and team leaders say other teams are helping with equipment. Team leaders say the problem right now is practice on Monday. The team depends on the concession stand sales to raise money but there's not much to sell and very little time to restock the shelves.
The Hillsborough Sheriff's office is investigating the break in.
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