Villanova Students Caught Stealing From The Linc

It is a strange but well-established fact that sports fans will collect just about any kind of memorabilia if they think it relates to a favorite team or player. When Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium was mothballed in 2004, over $700,000 worth of dirty, sticky stadium fixtures were snapped up by Phillies and Eagles fans, including such conversation pieces as urinals, sinks, and trash cans.

But what if you don’t want to wait 50 years for your team’s stadium to fall into disrepair and be replaced by a gleaming monument to consumerism and taxpayer fleecing? You could be satisfied with watching your team’s exploits on the field, you could collect memorabilia that is not an integral part of your team’s stadium, or you could do what at least 5 young enterprising Villanova University students did last night: attempt to break into Lincoln Financial Field and a steal a seat and a 5-foot metal sign.

Why “at least 5″? Because only 5 of the lads were nabbed by security guards and police; the others ran away, leaving their brahs and bros (and mommy and daddy’s SUV) to face the wrath of Philly’s finest. In case you somehow got the idea that these students were a roving band of criminal sports memorabilia-procuring masterminds, the PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER does a pretty good job of dispelling that notion straightaway in both words…

While working their mischief about 3 a.m., they were noticed on surveillance cameras by stadium security, who called police and tried to apprehend the intruders, according to Lt. David Bellamy of South Detectives.

Charged with criminal conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespass, theft and other charges are William Clarke, 19, of Short Hills, N.J.; Taylor Halstead, 19, of Manchester, Mass.; Dylan Carroll, 18, of Pelham, N.Y.; Mack Ioannidis, 18, of Brookhaven, Pa.; and Daniel Papa, 18, of Andover, Md.

Who would have guessed that a $500 million dollar professional football stadium would have cameras? As someone who had his fair share of late-night drunken football stadium incursions (I lived across the street from Kansas’ Memorial Stadium during my undergrad days), I can tell you - always watch for the cameras.