East Jefferson Little League Director Kenny Yingling stands by a pile of baseball gear, kitchen supplies and tools piled on the floor after a break-in to the Little League building in Port Hadlock on Dec. 5 and 10. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

East Jefferson Little League Director Kenny Yingling stands by a pile of baseball gear, kitchen supplies and tools piled on the floor after a break-in to the Little League building in Port Hadlock on Dec. 5 and 10. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

East Jefferson Little League hit with burglaries

PORT HADLOCK — Members of the East Jefferson Little League are reeling from two burglaries this month that are expected to cost the league thousands of dollars in repairs alone.

Kenny Yingling, East Jefferson Little League director, estimates the damage alone to be roughly $7,000.

He is expecting that cost to climb as he takes stock of everything that was stolen — including laptops, scoreboard remotes and at least 70 baseballs.

“We’re getting a lot of stuff back, but there’s still a lot of stuff unaccounted for,” Yingling said.

Chief Criminal Deputy Arthur Frank of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrested James Hansen, 21, of Port Hadlock at 4 a.m. Monday based on fingerprints found at the scene.

The burglar “really liked Dr. Pepper,” Yingling said. “That’s where they got most of the fingerprints. There were soda cans all over the place.”

On Dec. 5, Yingling went to turn on the heat in the Little League buildings on Elkins Road in Port Hadlock and found that the doors to the upstairs office and gear room, the downstairs snack bar and storage areas, and the door to the maintenance shed had all been kicked in — breaking the door frames and the doors themselves.

Yingling said the entire building had been ransacked. Everything from tool to baseballs to office supplies had been packed up into bags.

“He got into the gear room upstairs and had dumped uniforms and gear out of bags to use the bags to take a bunch of other stuff,” Yingling said.

“It looked like a bomb had gone off up there.”

There was evidence that the burglar had been staying in the building, Yingling said, adding that the burglar had built a bed using some of the league’s gear and had made a meal of popcorn and Dr. Pepper.

Yingling reported the break-in to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday, Yingling returned to find the building broken into again. This time, the perpetrator had made a bed in the bathroom — which had the only intact door from his last visit.

The burglar “seemed to have a thing about fire extinguishers,” Yingling said, with “one next to the bed, along with a bunch of our kitchen knives.”

According to Yingling, some things — such as the league’s defibrillator — were returned during the second visit, but other things, such as office supplies and pots and pans from the kitchen, were stolen.

“It could’ve been worse,” Yingling said. “But it’s still a big hit for us. We’re still trying to go through the upstairs, so we still don’t know what’s missing as far as gear and uniforms.”

Yingling said the damage alone, which includes seven broken door frames and a spray-painted window, will cost about $7,000.

He said the Little League lost a few thousand dollars because a laptop and scoreboard remotes have not been recovered.

“That’s not counting the hours of clean up that still need to happen,” Yingling said. “It’s a big slap in the face to the Little League and the businesses who support us.”

Yingling said he is working with Little League International, which required the League to have insurance against theft and injury.

“It doesn’t cover vandalism,” Yingling said. “We’re hoping the major damage, like the doors, will be covered under theft, but like everything with insurance, that will take awhile. We don’t have a secondary insurance, so hopefully we’re not stuck with that bill.”

Yingling said his plan is to secure the building as best he can before the holidays.

“After that, I’m hoping to get volunteers to help with clean up,” Yingling said. “We’re also looking for maybe a security system of some sort. We just can’t take this for granted anymore.”

Volunteers interested in helping with the Little League’s cleanup efforts can contact Yingling at [email protected] or at the website www.ejlittleleague.com.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

More in Crime

Port Angeles officer hurt during arrest

Sequim man charged with assault following domestic complaint

High-speed spin ends with crash into building, charges

Sequim teen charged with reckless endangerment, hit-and-run

T
Essential oils, farm equipment taken from Martha Lane Lavender

Fund looks to support family through loss

Kim Nails was one of three “smash and grab” burglaries in Sequim on Nov. 16-17. Sequim Police said they continue to investigate and believe the cases could be related. Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group
Matthew Wetherington
Matthew Wetherington sentenced to life in prison

He pleaded guilty to aggravated murder Monday

Port Angeles man sentenced in high school roof fire

A 19-year-old man whose firecracker sparked a roof fire… Continue reading

Saturday crash closes Center Road in Chimacum

A driver was arrested for drunken driving after a single-vehicle… Continue reading

Fat Smitty's restaurant in Discovery Bay has been subjected to three burglaries this year, with thieves stealing dollar bills that patrons personalize and attach to the walls and ceiling. Thursday's latest robbery is the first time law enforcement have been able to catch the suspect thieves, however it is still under investigation if Thursday's robbers are connected to the prior robberies. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Popular Discovery Bay eatery burgled

Suspects found with signed dollar bills after Fat Smitty’s hit

Most Read