East Bay youth baseball nonprofit burglarized, loses up to $20K in goods

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Concord youth sports nonprofit burglarized; nearly $20K in goods lost
The Junior Optimist Baseball League's property in Concord was broken into with their storage containers burglarized over the weekend.

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- At the baseball diamonds of the Junior Optimist Baseball League in Concord, things have a felt a little different over the past few days.

On Saturday, Anthony Northrup, the league's facilities director, says he got a call from one of his colleagues that their property had been broken into and their storage containers burglarized.

"We lost one of our large ATVs. We lost a trailer, generator, water pumps and a bunch of maintenance stuff," said Anthony.

Anthony says in total, they lost anywhere between $18,000 to 20,000 worth of equipment - just as the season is getting underway.

"That was my initial gut reaction, to be angry. Today, it's just more sad," Anthony said.

That sense of sadness has spread throughout the club.

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Anthony's brother, Mark, is JOBL's president.

Mark says COVID hit the league hard and that they had only recently started to recover.

He says the timing of this burglary is especially bad.

The league serves kids aged four through 13 and is entirely volunteer-based. Despite this theft, both Mark and Anthony tell me they're determined not to let it have an impact on the children.

Following the incident, the league filed a report with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, which says an investigation is ongoing.

In the meantime though, Mark says they're looking to install security cameras to try to prevent something like this from happening again.

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Absorbing another cost to ensure things run as smoothly as possible for the players.

"We'll just figure out a way to lengthen our recovery process. The kids are most important, we're not here for anybody else but them," Mark said.

The JOBL isn't alone.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help them recover some of their losses - a step Mark says has touched him and so many others in the league.

Now, he wants to thank the community for its continued support.

"You've got to weigh the good and bad. The good definitely outweighs the bad here. It's just the response is overwhelming," Mark said.

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