Just as the Dunedin Jr. Falcons are getting back on their feet, the team got another hit, said Vice President Tammy Howsare.
She noticed the team office was broken into before practice on Thursday evening.
Nothing of value was taken Howsare said, but the attempt has the organization rattled.
Howsare said she and president Carolyn Peake arrived at the Dunedin High practice field a half hour early to get ready for Jr Falcons practice around 6 p.m. That's when they noticed that the office door was damaged. Several of the louvers in the door vent were on the ground, which allowed the suspect access to get inside. At least two other doors to the office had also been damaged. They will all have to be replaced, Howsare said.
Howsare also said they noticed important items were jostled, but nothing was taken.
"We were starting off on a good foot," she said.
The Jr Falcons program was at a crossroads last season after David Rojas, a former Dunedin Jr Falcons coach with a violent criminal history, was arrested on charges of child pornography (December 2010). The Dunedin Jr Falcons have been trying to rebuild ever since. Last summer, the City of Dunedin put in $120,000 for new lights for their field.
This season, Howsare said, their reorganization efforts were finally making gains. They have enough staff, some more volunteers and "just enough" equipment for all the children.
"It's a struggle," she said.
The Dunedin Jr Falcons Youth Football and Cheerleading organization serves about 170 children between ages 4 to 14, and uses the high school practice field three to four days a week.
This is not the only case of vandalism at the school.
About 15 of Dunedin High School's outdoor vending machines were vandalized and burglarized in May. The damage was estimated at $500 per machine, plus cash taken, according to deputies.
Anyone with any information can contact Pinellas County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-872-TIPS at any hour, or online at CrimeStoppersofPinellas.org.