Local youth football league has some of their most expensive equipment stolen

PITTSBURGH — A youth football league is trying to recover after having their equipment stolen and filed sheds vandalized.

According to the Northside Youth Athletic Association, someone came to Fowler Field, pried open their sheds and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment belonging to the Northside Steelers Youth Football Team.

Audie Chapman, president and executive director of the league, tells Channel 11 nearly 100 helmets were stolen, each of them estimated to be around $100.

Chapman also claims that their sheds have been targeted multiple times in the past.

“I had a lock and chain on it,” said Chapman. “Someone was trying to bend open the door.”

The non-profit organization also has another issue to tackle with MyWay Mobile Storage, the company they contracted for the pods.

“I had a guy come out in the summertime because it looked like someone had been messing with the handle and the owner came out and said, ‘Oh, it will be fine. It will be secure.’ He reassured me,” said Chapman. “He said I’m liable for all the damage.”

In the meantime, Chapman tells Channel 11 there is a lesson in all of this, one he hopes his nearly 250 young players pick up on.

“We will press forward,” said Chapman. “Through adversity, we still have to keep going.”

Later this week, the Northside Steelers Youth Football Team will move the rest of their equipment to the Pittsburgh Project, who agreed to allow the team to use their basement. But Chapman says the team still needs the community’s support: They’re asking for donations to replace the equipment that was taken.

“When it comes to the children in our community, we know we are stronger together,” said Chapman.

To donate to the league, you can find them on Cash App under the name $northsidesteelers.

We reached out to MyWay Mobile Storage in Pittsburgh for comment about the security of the pods. They responded with this statement:

“MyWay Mobile Storage Pittsburgh is pleased to help Northside Youth Football, after their containers were recently broken into and equipment stolen. We have contacted the President of the Association, Audi Chapman, and will help with the transfer of the remaining equipment to a Project Pittsburgh facility at no charge to the association. This will save the organization the cost to make the move. We also waived all charges related to the damage of our property.  Finally, I will make a donation to help the team get back on their feet after this unfortunate occurrence.”

Pittsburgh Police in Zone One confirm to Channel 11 they are looking into what happened to the youth football league.

Comments on this article