“The snack shack really is the heart of all little league. Yeah, they play baseball, but you know what? Every kid wants to go to the snack bar,” said Briarwood Little League President Dan O’Connor.
It was a shocking discovery. On Wednesday morning (Aug. 3), O’Connor received a call from a groundskeeper that sometime in the night, vandals busted into the snack shack on Cabrillo Avenue in Santa Clara.
“The metal door…the screen was ripped open. It’s a thick mesh screen. The door jam and the doors were just pried open…The safe was laying down on the ground and the door was just pried open,” said O’Connor.
Materially, not much was stolen. Thieves took about $350 – the money left in the safe as the season wound down – as well as a few candy bars and some drinks. But the true impact of the theft is what it did to the community.
“BELL has been a member of the Santa Clara community for more than 60 years and events like this can be damaging to the community in more ways than just the money and assets stolen and damaged,” said Briarwood Little League Vice President Roxann Aguirre-Catuna. “This breaks the trust and safety that we’ve all worked so hard at building for the youth within this community.”
For O’Connor, the real frustration is what it means for the kids.
“That’s the kids’ money. That’s the kids’ candy and drinks. They’re not mine. I’m a volunteer,” said O’Connor. “These poor kids. We have 200 kids…We want to just continue to…make it a fun, safe place for the kids. That snack shack that they love so much.”
It’s not just the kids that love the snack shack. Over the years, it’s become a gathering place for members of the community.
“This is not just a [snack] shack. It’s not just a place for the volunteers to huddle and discuss the programs we put together,” said Aguirre-Catuna. “This is the kind of place where members of the community, some with no kids in the league, will come and grab a Stan’s donut and a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning just to watch other kids of the community play!”
As if to show how much the snack shack and the Briarwood Little League mean to the community, local residents have already stepped up to help. At least two people have volunteered to donate a new safe to the little league, while the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) is working to fix the door and the locks on the snack shack.
Santa Clara police are investigating the burglary at the Briarwood Little League snack shack. If you happened to see anything between 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, please contact Det. Adam Wilson at (408) 615-4750.
“We hope that our community will stand together and if they see something, say something,” said Aguirre-Catuna.
Disturbing and immature act, grateful that volunteers stepped in to replace the safe and the City is quickly acting to repair damages.
Let’s hope SCPD’s Greg Hill and Greg Deger don’t compound the $350 loss by illegally pursuing crime leads, permanently damaging an uninvolved woman, and costing the city and insurers another $7,000,000. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gypQaLaylm4
How often is he safe emptied? If it were emptied at the end of each workday (probably after most people would come by to put money in), and a sign displayed to that effect, prospective thieves might find it not worth their time. One annoyance is that repair/replacement of the safe must cost more than the $350 haul. Sigh. A surveillance camera might also help.