WASHINGTON - Thousands of dollars' worth of football equipment was ransacked from the Ridge Road Recreation Center in Southeast D.C. over the weekend leaving some youth football teams without equipment to play.
D.C. police are investigating who pried open the door to the storage facility, busted the window and made off with helmets, uniforms, shoulder pads and other equipment costing about $7,000 to $8,000.
On Tuesday, the Ridge Road Titans took to the field for practice, but some of the players didn't have pads or helmets so they could only run through drills with them.
League volunteers said they had to work hard to raise money for the equipment and uniforms and this is a huge letdown for everyone who put a lot of time and effort for this league. They are especially upset because the league means a lot to the kids and their parents said this league helps give these boys structure in their lives, helps them academically and keeps them off the streets.
“It's very frustrating and unfortunate because we spend a lot of time, we have a lot of volunteers such as myself,” said Ron Hull. “We spend a lot of time trying to find sponsors to get equipment and uniforms for these kids because we have a lot of less fortunate youth in our community.”
“I was mad and sad because now some of us are not going to be able to play, so maybe some of our teams might forfeit,” said Titans player Derae Edwards.
The Capital Beltway League is lending equipment for the Titans’ upcoming games for the next few days. But in the long term, the team will have to figure out a way to get the equipment to allow them to play.
The team is looking for donations and has set up a GoFundMe page.