BUCKFIELD – The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of aluminum bleachers from the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School ball field complex.

A maintenance employee discovered the theft during a check on the fields Friday afternoon, according to Jonathan Chalmers, assistant director of buildings and grounds at RSU 10.

According to Chalmers, two or three 16-foot benches and the seats and foot rests from a three-level set of bleachers were taken. The aluminum slats were detached from the bleachers’ galvanized steel frame, he said.

A full inventory of what was taken is being compiled by maintenance employees, Chalmers said Monday. Two sets of bleachers and a single bench remained on the property Monday afternoon.

The complex, which has both baseball and soccer fields, is several hundred yards behind the school in a wooded area and cannot be seen from Route 117, the main road running by the school.

Railroad Bed Road, a dirt track used to access several residences and used as a multipurpose trail for walkers, runners, ATVs and snowmobiles, runs along the west side of the fields.

The Sheriff’s Office suspects the bleachers and benches were stolen to be sold as scrap metal, according to Deputy Nathan Bowie.

The bleachers were last seen intact a week before the theft was discovered and there was little on-scene evidence, such as tire tracks or footprints, to be collected when he responded to the report Friday, he said.

Investigators are pursuing several leads in the case.

According to Chalmers, the bleachers were purchased over the past few years  as part of an improvement plan that included new fencing and landscaping.

“We’ve put a lot of work into those fields in the last four to five years,” he said. “This is going to be quite a set back.”

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