The Vancouver Island Raiders have launched a GoFundMe campaign with the hopes of raising $50,000 to replace stolen equipment.
The RCMP indicated that the theft occurred late Wednesday, August 31. They believe at least two suspects operating at least two vehicles were involved in the crime as it would have taken a significant amount of time to load what was stolen.
The team listed the following items on their GoFundMe campaign as stolen: 12 helmets, 20 jerseys, 15 sets of shoulder pads, 30 practice jerseys, 35 girdles, headsets, 20 team bags, two boxes of game balls, yards markers, down markers, chains, goal pads, treatment table, two tents, rolling tool box, assorted tools, ten flats of Gatorade, two boxes of LED lights, and a radio.
“I am beyond frustrated. We’re trying our best to provide a positive development experience for these kids but it seems that just as we get past one setback, we’re hit with another one,” said team general manager Josh Williams in a statement. “There is no sugar-coating or minimizing the impact this theft will have on our team moving forward. Right now, I really don’t know how we’re going to recover from it.”
This is only the latest in a string of incidents that have negatively impacted the Raiders as their changeroom at Comox Field was broken into in September 2021 with damage and equipment theft totaling an estimated $15,000. A small fire was also set outside the team’s Caledonia Park facility in July 2022 that damaged the exterior of the building and caused a significant amount of equipment to be discarded.
The Raiders were established in 2005 and play out of Nanaimo, B.C. Their most notable alumnus is future Canadian Football Hall of Fame running back Andrew Harris.