NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — North Haven police have found the youth sporting equipment stolen earlier this week from the campus of North Haven High School and North Haven Middle School.
According to police, the trailer was stolen from school grounds during the school day on Monday. There were thousands of dollars worth of equipment that belonged to North Haven Youth Lacrosse inside, leaving them scrambling for the start of the season.
The league said it checked on its equipment Sunday night, ensuring it was ready for the start of season the next day, but that the equipment and entire trailer were gone on Monday.
“It was a shock to see the trailer was gone,” North Haven Youth Lacrosse Board President Lorenzo Porto said. “The timing was unfortunate. We do use them as our primary storage for equipment.”
Everything from sticks, balls, tents, scoreboards and protective equipment was stolen. Port said the gear for goalies is most expensive — costing the league hundreds of dollars.
“We had to outfit probably about six goalies with new gear,” he said. “[It’s cost] at least a thousand at this point to get the goalie gear immediately.”
North Haven police are still searching for the suspect caught on surveillance driving a tan GMC Sierra.
The report below is from News 8 at 5 p.m. on March 23, 2023.
Porto said the theft was detrimental to their season and for their 255 players in kindergarten through 8th grade.
“I coach the young boys and a lot of them were asking, ‘Why would someone want to steal our trailer?’ middle schoolers you know, they’re angry,” he said.
The league kept the trailer on the same campus for more than a decade.
Now the district is reevaluating its security.
“I was appalled and also nervous — wanted to make sure that we are still safe and our students and staff are safe in our schools,” North Haven Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Stirk said. “Speaking with the police department and SROs, they are ensuring their rounds encompass that area.”
The school district and several other businesses, including Amici Tavern, are donating equipment and money to the league so children can still play.
“It’s unfortunate someone would do that to anyone, but when it happens to children, it’s even more heartbreaking,” said Stephen Barraco, who owns Amici Restaurant Group. “We are part of the community, so we like to give back to the community.”
Amici Tavern will donate 10% of all proceeeds on April 6 to the league.
The community has also made donations through the league’s Venmo account, @NHYL-2022.
Anyone with any information on this theft is asked to call police at (203) 239-5321.