Thieves take batting cage net, cause $4,500 in damage to Fresno High School baseball equipment

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Watching Fresno High baseball's 13 and 0 win, it's clear there's one thing thieves can't take -- their focus.

"It's just pretty demoralizing when you come out and wonder why?" said head baseball coach Jason Papi. "Why would someone do that? You know you're stealing from kids."

After a week away to host the Easter classic, the Warriors returned to slashed vinyl, hundreds of broken zip ties and a missing batting cage net.

"There was a step stool here and then a pair of sheers here which our police officer took to fingerprint," Papi said.

Papi says almost immediately after reporting the vandalism, board member Carol Mills and the district replaced the close to $4,500 in damage and stolen equipment, but the frustration remains.

"We had two pitching machines stolen in June," Papi said. "This past baseball season we've had our snack bar broken into twice."

The break-ins prompted extra precaution to deter thieves.

"Some of the equipment, places they go to this is how we afford all that stuff," The team's booster club parents like Steven Son volunteer hundreds of fundraising hours not just to benefit the team, but the surrounding community.

Each summer they host a free youth baseball camp.

"Every time it seems like we're getting a little ahead we get this kind of situation where we get the vandalism, and we don't know what we're going to do," he said.

The theft could've happened anywhere from Tuesday, April 16 to Sunday, April 21.

They're now working with the district and law enforcement to see if there is any surveillance that captured what happened.
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