A baseball club’s pitch and equipment has been wrecked and stolen days before the opening season for the third time in a year.

The latest incident at Essex Arrows Baseball Club on Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, happened around 6 – 7pm on Monday, April 8.

Around £200 worth of new baseballs which were only bought the day before were taken along with other key equipment needed for upcoming matches.

Signs of drug use and a bonfire was also spotted within the dugouts by members of the club upon discovering the storage container had been broken into.

Secretary and treasurer of Essex Arrows Baseball Club, Jamie Steed, from Chingford, said the problem has been ongoing for several years.

“I think it is sheer boredom and the lack of respect,” he said. “People pay for this equipment and they seem to think it’s ok to destroy things.

“It’s not just delivered out of thin air, it’s coming out of individual pockets all the time.

“It seems to be an ongoing problem within the area but we seem to be getting the brunt of it.”

Last year the club raised £10,000 to erect an 8-10ft fence around the ground to prevent people carrying out anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Despite the seeing a significant drop in attacks, the club continues to be targeted, resulting in the dugouts to be painted black to cover up graffiti.

A group of around 12 to 16 youths aged between 14 and 18 years old were spotted by club members breaking into the ground on Monday evening.

“It looks like they are climbing over the fence, said Mr Steed. “We are working with the Waltham Abbey Town Council to seal the little gaps and weak points.

“We are likely now have to go out and pay out for the lost equipment to get us through the second half of the season.”

Although Essex Arrows has CCTV around the clubhouse, they are currently do not have cameras installed on the pitch due to costs.

Mr Steed said should the vandalism continue at this level, CCTV will hopefully be the next step to crack down on attacks.

“If we can get something running it might make them release it is not worth the grief of doing it people are now constantly monitoring their activities.”

Essex Arrows club member, David Shear, said: “There was smashed bleacher seating that we raised £7,000 for, broken wood and doors that we made ourselves to cover the dugouts which were burnt.

“All the wood was ripped off the benches in the dugouts, set alight and bricks smashed. They have also previously thrown broken glass all over the dugouts and infield.”

Essex Police have been made aware of the situation.

The Essex Arrows will play against the London Capitals at Townmead Leisure Park, Waltham Abbey on Sunday, April 14.