For the second time in two weeks, the concession stand at Monett's North Park ball fields has been vandalized and snack items stolen.
"The first occurred on July 25 when someone took an object and broke the shatter-proof windows that had been donated by EFCO," said Kirk Verhoff, president of the Monett Youth Baseball and Softball League. "They just kept beating it until it shattered.
"The second break-in occurred on July 31," Verhoff continued. "The vandals pushed the air conditioner in on the west side of the building and climbed through the opening. Both times, the only items taken were candy and soft drinks."
Verhoff said at this point in the season, the only items remaining in the building were the snack items that were usually donated to the high school for their fundraising efforts.
"This is the third incident this year," Verhoff said. "Another time, there was some vandalism at the batting cages. The police are working on the matter right now, and we are working with [City Administrator] Dennis Pyle to determine the amount of damage and estimate repair costs."
Lt. Greg Brandsma with the Monett Police Department said that two officers are currently investigating the matter.
"We have recovered the prying tool used to push the air conditioner into the building," Brandsma said. "We believe the suspects gained entry through the air conditioner opening.
"However, when the air conditioning unit fell, it damaged a water line which resulted in flooding the building," Brandsma said. "We estimate the damage at the concession stand to be about $1,000."
Brandsma said the crime had escalated to the felony range due to the amount of damage done to the building.
"Why they are targeting the concession stand, we don't know," Brandsma said. "No money is kept there overnight."
Due to the nature of the crimes, law enforcement officials suspect juveniles of committing the crimes.
"At this point, the investigations are ongoing," Brandsma said. "We do suspect that the break-ins are related."
Anyone with information on the matter is asked to contact the Monett Police Department at 235-4241.