BEATRICE — Authorities are looking for those responsible for irreparably damaging the Beatrice High School football field's new artificial turf by spreading at least 100 pounds of birdseed over it.
School officials and police say several large bags of birdseed were ripped open and spread over the field sometime last weekend. To do that, whoever was responsible would have had to scale a 6-foot outer fence and 4-foot inner fence.
Coaches at Beatrice High School discovered the birdseed Monday.
Athletic director Neal Randel says the birdseed has gotten into the fibers of the turf and that it can't be removed without pulling up the crumb rubber that supports the turf.
The $2.3 million stadium was constructed last year and dedicated in August.
Four teenagers — two male and two female — were seen walking into the north entrance of the Beatrice Wal-Mart at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning and leaving the store at 12:11 a.m. with birdseed in a shopping cart, Police Sgt. Brian Carver said.
The suspects are then believed to have driven to the stadium at Beatrice High where they spread the seed in lines and curves over the turf field.
The stadium was paid for through $1 million in Build America Bonds and $1.3 million of donations and pledges. The turf cost approximately $290,000 and was installed in March 2012.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Beatrice Communications at 402-223-4080 or Gage County Crime Stoppers at 402-228-4343.