HARTFORD – Two Hartford residents are charged with burglary this morning — burglary of a very notable address: Dunkin Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats baseball team.
Police say the stadium was broken into shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning and reported a few hours later. Someone had broken into the stadium, forced their way into different areas and stolen Yard Goats memorabilia, including the ball that was used for the first pitch when the stadium opened last year.
Later in the day police investigating a shoplifting complaint at the Marshall’s department store recovered a backpack belonging to a juvenile. Inside that backpack they say they found five baseballs stolen from the stadium, including one autographed by the team. The juvenile later confessed to the burglary.
Investigators developed another suspect, Yuan Dariel Cruz-Fuentes. At his home they found the other stolen memorabilia, including autographed hats, a drone, and an iPad. They also found narcotics packaged for sale.
Police say Cruz-Fuentes also confessed to helping rob the stadium. He and the juvenile are charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and other charges.
Dunkin Donuts park was plagued by problems during construction, opened a year later than scheduled, resulting in numerous lawsuits. But it’s first season last year was a success, with the team selling out 42 of their 68 home games, and the stadium has won back-to-back awards as best in the league. The Yard Goats are leading the league in attendance in 2018.
Yard Goats staff declined an interview request, but issued a brief statement Saturday morning:
We’d like to thank the Hartford Police Department for their diligent response, and quick work resolving this situation. The items recovered have tremendous sentimental value to the city, including the first ball ever pitched at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. -Tim Restall, President, Hartford Yard Goats