Two youth football teams were left without thousands of dollars in equipment after two burglaries, police said.
Detectives were searching for the people responsible for the crimes, which are similar but not necessarily related, according to the Tampa Police Department.
The first incident happened on May 23 or 24 at Highland Pines Park, 4505 E 21st Ave.
It appears someone broke into the shed where the Highland Pines Cougars stored equipment. The team is made up of children between the ages of 5 and 14.
Police said $2,000 in equipment was stolen, including six footballs, 40 helmets, 24 earpieces, 10 shoulder pads, 100 black belts, three kicking blocks, one repair kit and three kicking tees.
Just days after this crime was discovered, the Carrollwood Cardinals, a team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Youth Football League, found out that it, too, had been burglarized.
Sometime between May 26 and the following Tuesday evening, a suspect forced entry into the football storage area at 2119 W Perio St. police said.
This time, $6,000 of equipment was taken, including 50 new helmets and 60 shoulder pads, officials said. The helmets were so new, police said, they had not yet been branded with the team logo.
Anyone with information about these crimes was asked to call the Tampa Police Department at (813) 231-6130.
Marissa Lang, Times Staff Writer