BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech football players lost their personal belongings from storage at SB Ballard Stadium during Friday night’s 20-17 loss to the Old Dominion, according to Old Dominion Interim Police Chief Garrett Shelton. Stolen from locker.
After the game, after the Hokies returned to the locker room, the technician notified the police department of the missing item within 15 minutes.
According to Shelton, no arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is still ongoing.
Shelton said: “We are conducting a criminal investigation into it and working closely with football staff, the victims reported in the theft, and we have been working to resolve this issue over the weekend and for them.”
Shelton declined to specify the exact number of players affected, but said it was less than double digits and the value of the stolen property was estimated to be less than $8,000.
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“I tell every head coach who visits our stadium and speaks to me that I always want them to be well and their players to be as healthy as they leave, and part of that is making sure their belongings are okay,” Shelton said. “Being a victim of theft is a very personal thing.”
The Old Dominion Police Department has security personnel at games, but not the locker room area. The stadium uses a mix of police and event staff to ensure security.
These procedures will be reviewed in the future, Shelton said.
“When that happens, we want to review everything that happened and look at all the existing safety protocols,” Shelton said. “Is it safe? Does it stay the same throughout the game?”
On Sunday afternoon, the Old Dominion’s athletic department issued a statement apologizing to Virginia Tech for the incident.
“ODU Athletics has been working with Virginia Tech and the Old Dominion Police Department since we learned of the theft of some Virginia Tech student-athletes’ personal property Friday night,” the statement said. “ODU Athletics to Virginia Tech, Virginia Sincere apologies from the Polytechnic University Sports Authority and the young man whose property was stolen. The ODU Police Department is working hard to resolve this incident.”
The tech company declined to comment Saturday night before issuing a statement on Sunday, referring the comments to the Old Dominion Police Department.
“The Virginia Tech Department of Athletic has confirmed that items were missing from the Virginia Tech locker room following Friday night’s football game against the Old Dominion in Norfolk,” the statement said. “The university is contacting law enforcement and Old Dominion on the matter. cooperation, there will be no further comment.”
The Tech lost 20-17 on Friday night, with turnovers and free throws ruining Brent Pry’s debut. The 28.5-point favorite loss at Old Dominion in 2018 was widely regarded by fans as one of the low points of former coach Justin Fuertner’s tenure.
Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock extended the original seven-game series from 2026 to 2031 from his predecessor Jim Weaver’s brainchild. Tech’s 2018 game at SB Ballard Stadium was the first game in the area since the neutral site’s 1986 game against Temple.
The series paid $250,000 to the visiting team.
“This is our chance to bring the game to the fans,” Babcock said at the time.