Frustrated members of two local athletic associations are seeking help from the community to find those responsible for a rash of vandalism that has damaged the groups' facilities.

Frustrated members of two local athletic associations are seeking help from the community to find those responsible for a rash of vandalism that has damaged the groups' facilities.

In the past two-plus months, concession facilities owned by the Pickerington Area Soccer Association and the Pickerington Youth Athletic Association have become targets of vandals.

According to Pickerington police, the concession stands and other property at the adjoining complexes on about 50 acres behind Seton Parish Church on Hill Road have been damaged at least six times in the past year.

Officers for the two nonprofit associations put the number of incidents over the past year closer to eight and say they've become more frequent since November.

The destruction to property alone, they estimate, will cost the PYAA at least $5,000 to repair, and the PASA could spend as much as $2,000 just to rehabilitate its facility.

Information about the vandalism or suspicious activity at the complexes can be reported to the Pickerington Police Department at (614) 575-6911.

The most recent incident occurred Jan. 18, when the PASA concession facility was struck again.

"It's much more than is customary," said John Pysarchuk, PYAA commissioner. "Sometimes we get occasional vandalism, but this has been much more frequent and malicious."

The volunteer-driven PYAA offers organized baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis leagues for students in the Pickerington Local School District. PASA, also a volunteer-based organization, manages soccer leagues for more than 1,400 Pickerington-area youths.

The two groups plan to begin practices for their respective seasons as soon as March 1. However, the recent damage to the interiors of their concession facilities and the theft and destruction of cleaning supplies and concession products have created financial challenges for the associations, which largely are funded through registration fees.

"We have drywall in our concession stand and we have almost no walls left," said Gessica Peraza, PASA administrator. "We think it's the same people because they're breaking in the same way.

"We're very frustrated," she said. "It needs to stop. We don't have the money to fix all these things, plus all the inventory that's been lost."

Police say two male juveniles and two female juveniles believed responsible for earlier vandalisms at the complexes were arrested about seven months ago, but no arrests have been made recently.

"Most of the criminal activity occurs at night," said Pickerington Police Detective Rob Bartek. "We have increased patrols in the area.

"I feel that the motivation behind these crimes is that juveniles do not respect the property and that they have no problem rationalizing the theft and damage to the property," he said. "I also feel that the subjects committing these crimes live or are staying near the complex.

"We would ask that the public report any suspicious activity at the PYAA Complex to the police department. The (complexes are) privately owned and there should not be anyone on the property without permission from PYAA (and PASA)."

Members of both associations have echoed the call for community help, and believe the criminal activity could spill into residential areas.

"This is ridiculous and it's malicious," said Peraza. "We're asking for anything that could lead to catching these people. (Residents) need to be aware as well, because who knows when they're going to start hitting the homes around there?"