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Little League building torched during burglary in Rancho Cucamonga

By Dean Fioresi

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    RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California (KCAL) — An Inland Empire Little League is working to raise money after their snack bar and storage building were torched during a burglary last week.

It happened at around 2:20 p.m. on May 3 at Red Hill Community Park, where the Citrus Little League snack bar and storage building are located, according to Rancho Cucamonga police.

Deputies were called to the location after learning that two people were seen running from the structure as a fire broke out, said a statement from police. The suspects were spotted as they ran into a nearby restaurant.

They arrived and detained the two suspects who were in possession of property stolen from the Citrus Little League Building.

Both, boys aged 14 and 16, were booked on charges of burglary and arson after they were identified as the two people seen running from the burning building. They remain in custody of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Now, league officials are hopeful that the public can help them literally put the pieces back together after the building was severely damaged to the point of being red-tagged.

“Not only was the building damaged, but the long standing history and items close to all of the families of Citrus were lost in the fire as well,” said a GoFundMe hoping to raise funds for the rebuilding process. “This was not just a snack bar, it was also used to store all of the kids equipment, Citrus merchandise, tables, chairs, sound equipment.”

They estimate that repairs could cost between $70,000 and $100,000.

Other items that were reportedly destroyed were the original Citrus Little League banner, a letter from the White House for the American Flag donated to the league and memorabilia dating back to the beginning of the league in the 1980s.

They say that even though the building sits on Red Hill Park property, it is 100% run and maintained by the league and board members, all of whom are volunteers.

Even after having their place of operations destroyed, the CLL vice president says he would welcome the kids who set the fire into his league.

“Come join the league, it’ll keep you out of trouble like this,” said Gary Mendoza. “Give us a call. We take all kids, we’re here for our community and to keep you out of trouble. That’s what Little League is all about.”

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