While it’s not uncommon for the bases to be stolen during games at the Penticton Lions Park ball diamonds, it appears someone took this notion a little too literally.
Thieves broke into the storage shed at the Lions Park on Eckhardt Avenue between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, and made off with not only all of the bases for the baseball diamond but also the city’s tractor used to drag the field. City parks supervisor Todd Whyte said this is a first for the city in terms of motor vehicle theft, commenting with a laugh that he is not sure what someone would do with the equipment.
“We became aware of it the Wednesday morning just after 7 a.m. but I don’t know what time it happened,” said Whyte. “It’s pretty rare that this stuff gets taken. I don’t know why they wanted it, but I will say they were very determined to get in (to the shed), when you see the damage that occurred to the site.”
As a result of the break-in, the parks staff have completely boarded up the shed until they are able to fix the door which was destroyed. Whyte said RCMP are investigating the incident and joked that the city has not issued an A.P.B. on the stolen tractor as he is not sure what condition it would be returned in if found.
“I’m sure the RCMP has their finest people on it. Have we put out an A.P.B. on it? No, but we would appreciate having it back,” said Whyte. “I’m imagining that it’s probably not in the same condition it was when it left the shed. We do have a tractor replacement program, not that we plan for people to steal them, but we do have a means for us to be able to replace equipment. So we’re in a position to have funds available for us to replace a tractor this year.”
Whyte said he couldn’t speak to exactly how much the tractor is worth, estimating around a few thousand dollars. He said the bases are actually owned by the user groups who play club baseball in the spring and summer, so it will be up to them to decide if they will replace the stolen bases this season or wait until next.
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