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In the early morning hours of Sunday, April 19, someone broke into the Eminence Independent Schools ball park concession stand, taking merchandise stored within and leaving a big mess behind.
Eminence Police Chief Carey Duncan said two male juveniles, ages 16-17, have been charged with third degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, possession of burglary tools and unlawful transaction with a minor, all in connection with the robbery. All are Class D felonies except the tampering charge, a Class A misdemeanor.
Two other male juveniles, ages 16-17, are charged with retaliating against individuals who helped police crack the case.
Duncan also is preparing a case against three adults who allegedly were involved. The charges, which are pending, will match those faced by the juveniles.
The thieves made off with $433 in concession stand merchandise.
Eminence Independent Schools Booster Club representative LeeAnn Armstrong told school board members last week that several concession stand break-ins have left the club — which raises funds for school athletics — strapped for money and searching for ways to secure the concession stand.
“It’s very frustrating, to say the least,” she said. “We’re a small group and we work long, hard hours in the concession stands.”
Eminence High School Principal Steve Frommeyer said the latest incident has prompted the district to toughen security measures on the building.
“We’re installing a new door with a dead bolt and windows that lock from the inside,” he said. “You’d have to have explosives to break into it.”
The concession stand has been the target of six break-ins in just the last year. Frommeyer believes the incidents have been the work of people using the bleachers as a hangout. According to Frommeyer, after being caught, one boy said they were just bored.
“They’re not focused on the important things,” he said, “just the trivial.”
Duncan hopes prosecuting the offenders will bring about change. “We’re trying to hold them responsible through the legal process,” he said, “and hoping the parents will also respond.”
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