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'It's hard': Nanaimo junior football team suffers 3rd theft in 2 years

A broken fence at the Nanaimo Raiders equipment building is shown. (CTV News) A broken fence at the Nanaimo Raiders equipment building is shown. (CTV News)
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The Vancouver Island Raiders junior football team is reeling from another expensive theft, after much-needed sports equipment was swiped in late May.

The theft occurred sometime between May 21 and May 22 at the team's equipment room at 110 Wall St. in Nanaimo.

Staff told police that they were at the property on the evening of May 21, and when they returned at 5 p.m. on May 22, the door to the building had been broken.

It's the third time the Raiders suffered a theft in the last three years.

Mounties say 20 Nike-brand footballs, five travel bags, two helmets, two football cleats, and an unknown number of team jerseys, girdles and game pants were stolen in the theft, as well as a range of tools and other equipment.

"These items are really noticeable," said Nanaimo RCMP reserve Const. Gary O'Brien.

"They've got the logo on the shirts, the sweaters, the girdles, the cleats, everything," he said. "We are hoping the public can help us and get it back."

"They don’t have a lot of money to work with, shoestring budget, and they do a lot for the community," O'Brien said of the Raiders.

Similar thefts occurred in August 2022, when an estimated $50,000 worth of equipment was stolen from the team's practice facility, and again in September 2021, when an estimated $15,000 worth of gear was swiped from its facility in Comox.

"[We] work so hard to do all this stuff and every time we turn around there's something… it just knocks us back down again," said Greg Peacock, board member of the Vancouver Island Raiders on Friday.

"It's hard, and it's hard to go back to the community," he said.

Police say there's currently no suspects or witnesses to the crime. Anyone with information is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

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