FRESNO, Calif. (KMJ/KFSN) — Thieves targeted a Boys and Girls Club in Fresno for two nights this week, destroying parts of a newly laid lawn.
All torn up. That is how staff found the club’s lawn in West Fresno for the first time on Wednesday.
“People hopped the fence we have here and were literally pulling the squares of sod out of the ground and throwing them over the fence,” Boys and Girls Club Director of Operations Richard Saldivar said.
Saldivar told Action News the crime happened two nights in a row, this Wednesday and Thursday, in an area of the club’s property that is not well-lit at night.
Even with security cameras around the club, he said there are no leads or suspects. But, the thieves managed to leave behind some clues.
“We could see little debris on the fence and everything, and there was a little baby stroller out there,” Saldivar said. “I think they were putting them and rolling them out.”
The missing rolls of sod are especially upsetting because the Lowe’s Hometown Project had just donated the grass earlier this fall.
Staff members told Action News they are worried thieves could strike again, destroying even more of the landscaping since the area of stolen sod is only a portion of the much larger outdoor space.
Saldivar says the club has asked the Fresno Police to boost late-night and overnight patrols over the next few days.
“This is for the kids,” he said. “We want it to be here for years to come. It’s beautifying the community as well.”
Club leaders say they are determined to move forward, providing a safe space for area kids.
That was clear on Friday night as dozens of families gathered inside the club for a community Thanksgiving dinner steps away from the torn-up lawn.