Benson Bruins junior football team asks for donations after equipment goes missing

Over 118 helmets and 50 pads were stolen from the team’s storage shed in Renton.

On July 18, the Benson Bruins junior football team of Renton found that over 118 helmets and 50 pads were stolen from their storage sheds, throwing a wrench into their pre-season practice.

According to Bruins secretary and longtime team mom Tina Ann Leonardo, the sheds were broken into and the team’s entire football helmet inventory was stolen.

“It’s just a sad situation that someone would do this to these kids,” said Leonardo in a phone call. “Why would you hurt kids like this?”

The theft of the equipment came at an unfortunate time — the Bruins are kicking off their practice for their first jamboree on Aug. 13 and then the junior football league games are next. Without proper safety equipment, the players (ages 6 to 14) cannot practice hits or tackling.

The sheds are located in Renton at 116th Southeast and 168th Southeast streets, across from the 7-Eleven. The Bruins are asking for anyone who may have seen the football equipment being loaded into a vehicle or carried away to contact the Renton Police Department. The case number for the investigation is #23-8241.

In hopes of getting the players their equipment before the season begins, the Bruins have started a GoFundMe, as insurance will not cover equipment theft. Along with money donations, the team is asking for equipment donations because supply chain issues may make purchasing new equipment difficult.