FLETCHER - After a lack of security measures resulted in the theft of equipment from the school softball team, Fletcher Police Chief Jason DeLonais said he's frustrated and left without a suspect.
Reported to the Fletcher Police Department by athletic coach Mike Moreno on Feb. 15, stolen items are said to include a 2013 Honda Ranger 4x4 four-wheeler at an estimated value of $4,600 and a medical bag, bat bag and miscellaneous other softball equipment totaling $330. According to the incident report written by Officer Aaron Gray, the theft occurred sometime between Feb. 14 and Feb. 15, in the shed at the Fletcher softball field located on South Drive. In a statement provided by Coach Moreno the southside door of the building had been found unlocked. Chief DeLonais said this is now the second incident where a motorized vehicle and other equipment have been stolen from the Fletcher fieldhouse.
A police report dated May 15, 2019, shows that a previous burglary complaint was made after a Yamaha off-road vehicle and multiple baseball bats were discovered to have been stolen. In the 2019 report, details reveal that the field house doors were found to be unlocked at the time and no signs of forced entry were noticed. "It's the exact same crime down to how they got into the building," said Chief DeLonais. "This is a theft by a local person who has access to a key. Until the school gets key control they're always going to get robbed." When thefts such as this occur, the chief says the community wants law enforcement to solve the case but fail to realize when there's a lack of evidence. When asked for a list of individuals who have access to the fieldhouse keys or who may have been in and out of the building that day, Chief DeLonais said the school could not provide him with the information.
With no forced entry, no list of people who have access to the building to interview and no equipment inventory list to compare, the chief explained that, at this point, there are no leads and no suspects. Now, it's anyone's guess where the stolen property will end up, he said. ATV's can often be parted out, sold out of town or kept being used and softball equipment can easily be sold anywhere for profit, even online. "I think the likelihood of getting it back is pretty slim," he said. Fletcher Public Schools Superintendent Shane Gilbreath said the school doesn't actually own the ballfields, so they've never known who all has access to fieldhouse keys. Since the recent theft, he says a new lock has been installed and key control has been implemented. Both stolen vehicles have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), said Chief DeLonais, so law enforcement will be notified if they are located. Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to contact the Fletcher Police Department at (580) 549-4242.