The youth football season is off to a tough start for three teams in the west Valley after someone stole cash and copies of several players’ birth certificates and insurance information.
The documents were part of league applications for players in three Arizona Savages age groups that were about to be submitted to American Youth Football. The thief made off with nearly $3,000 in uniform money and application fees, volunteer team mom Rachel Benton said.
Benton said she was planning to go straight to the field to volunteer after work at a preschool, so she loaded up her minivan Monday night outside her home in Surprise with everything she would need. When she returned to her vehicle Tuesday morning, she discovered someone had broken in and stolen "everything that wasn't bolted down," including documents and fees for players on the 7-and-under, 9-and-under and 10-and-under teams.
The packets contained some personal information for all players in the Savages organization along with more detailed application documents for nine players, including copies of birth certificates and insurance information, Benton said.
“I just don't want that to get into the wrong hands,” she said through tears. “I thought I was getting ahead for the next day. I didn't think it would set me so far back.”
The stolen documents also contained application packets for about 10 adult volunteers that included social security numbers. None of the documents contained players’ social security numbers, she said.
Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski confirmed officers were investigating the incident. He said there were no signs of forced entry on the vehicle.
Sgt. Klarkowski said parents of affected players should sign up for an identity theft monitoring service. He also suggested parents contact the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division and report their child as a possible victim of identity theft.
The Savages launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of raising enough uniform money in time for their first games. Arizona's Family confirmed the authenticity of the campaign.
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