An Albuquerque little league suffered a big loss before their season even got started. Thieves stole vital pieces of equipment worth thousands of dollars from Zia Little League’s storage units.
“This was the boxcar and stuff that the equipment was in,” said Mike Means, the league’s chief umpire.
Wednesday morning when the Zia Little League held a registration at the Manzano Mesa Community Center, they were stunned by what they found.
“They stole two really important pieces of equipment that we use that help keep the fields in good shape for the kids to play on,” said Means.
Thieves had broken into one of their boxcars for the league.
“Apparently somebody knew it was in there, knew where to go,” he said.
A John Deere tractor and a blower, together worth about $10,000, were gone.
“Without these two pieces of equipment we really… we’re kind of scrambling right now trying to figure out what to do,” said Means.
Both tools are used to keep the fields and sidewalks safe. The Albuquerque Police Department said it’s hoping to find the equipment soon and return it.
“It really sucks that some crook would steal that,” said APD Officer Simon Drobik.
He said although the items are used for specific purposes, they’re still valuable to criminals.
“They’re gonna try and sell this on the street or a flea market, or they’ll use it for some other reason,” said Officer Drobik.
He said there are key signs to know if you’ve found the stolen equipment.
“If someone’s trying to sell you a tractor for $200, it’s stolen,” said Officer Drobik.
For the Zia Little League, they’re just trying to cope with who the thieves targeted.
“They’re not stealing you know from me or anything. They’re stealing from you know, 5 and 10 10-year-olds,” said Means.
APD said if you think you’ve seen the equipment either in person or being sold online, to contact police immediately.
The little league will be starting their season this spring.