TEENAGERS playing soccer in their underwear tore the cricket pitch at the Grant Rd sports and community complex to shreds recently.
Caboolture Cricket Club president Steve Adams caught the kids playing on the wicket two weeks ago.
He took video of the vandals and chased them through a stormwater drain.
"When I caught them they just didn't care," he said.
Adams said the problem was widespread, with clubs all along the Sunshine Coast affected.
He said there was no way the destruction, which came just after heavy rain, was an accident.
"I have the wicket blocks cordoned off," he said.
"They decided out of the 15 acres down there to play football in that one square."
The club has had trouble with pitch vandalism in the past, but the fence and boom-gate the council erected has helped to control the problem
"It's been good for the last two years, but prior to that it used to happen all the time," Adams said.
"During a season it would happen half a dozen times, and that's just the pitch."
Before the fence and boom-gate the club even had problems with hoons driving on the field, ruining the $3000 covers used to protect the pitch.
Adams said the vandalism, which took two days work to repair, could have had serious consequences for the club.
"We might have to call a game off because of it," he said.
"If it's too dangerous after it's repaired the umpires just won't let you play.
"We're lucky we've got a three-week break now so I should get grass growing on there by the first week after Christmas."
Adams said it was hard to stop acts like this but people living near the grounds could do their part.
"We encourage them to be vigilant," he said.
"We get on very well with the neighbours and they do report to us when they see things happening."
Caboolture police Sergeant Steve Jones said there was a good chance the kids would be caught.
"You may get away with it for a short period of time. You may get away with it for a long period of time but eventually we will come knocking at your door," he said.
"Wilful damage is a criminal offence and it carries an appropriate penalty."
Sgt Jones said school holiday boredom could have played a part.
"Through boredom, lack of parental supervision and just wanton destructiveness, from time to time the community suffers financial hardship from the... destruction of public property," he said.
He urged community members to contact police via Policelink on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 with any information.
Kids at a loss for something to do over the holidays can join in the T20Blast program at the cricket club.
It's open for eight to 12-year-olds and starts on January 11. Call Steve Adams on 0419773402.
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