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Montebello baseball team victim of estimated $10K equipment theft

April 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Easter week at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School means no classes. But thieves didn't take the week off.

They took advantage of the holiday and took the Montebello school's baseball team to the cleaners.

"Gloves, bats, baseballs, catcher's equipment, helmets, pants. It just doesn't make sense. We haven't done anything to anybody," said team member Gustavo Garcia.

The Cantwell Cardinals took the field Friday in Griffith Park despite missing most of their equipment. Coach Miguel Alcala says the break-in happened Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

The sports equipment was locked inside metal storage containers at the school's baseball field. Damage to the door shows where the thieves pried their way in. Alcala puts the loss around $10,000.

"They took about 60 items. A bat alone is about $500. And a small school, we just got all this stuff. It was brand new," Alcala said.

The team is now left scrambling to drum up equipment. Coach Alcala and some of the parents pitched in to buy two bats for today's game. A lot of the other gear is borrowed.

"We'll have to do with what we have for now, and then hopefully we'll be able to get back on our feet," Garcia said.

The Cantwell Cardinals are hoping police will be able to track down the people behind the heist so they can get back to playing the game they love.

In a sport where stealing bases is encouraged, actually stealing the bases and all the rest of the gear - sure takes the fun out of it.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call the Montebello Police Department at (323) 887-1313.

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