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Expensive equipment stolen from La Canada Rose Parade float site

Thousands of dollars in equipment has been stolen from a Rose Parade float site, leaving float builders scrambling.
October 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thousands of dollars in equipment has been stolen from a Rose Parade float site, leaving organizers scrambling to replace the equipment and finish the float in time for the Jan. 1 parade.

The equipment was discovered missing on Sunday from the La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association float construction site.

"All the locks were broken, everything that was locked up was snapped off with bolt cutters," said Ann Neilson with the La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association.

Huge cables, full of copper wire and welding equipment, are all gone.

"This is the equipment that we use to set up our little city under the bridge, we decorate the float under the freeway overpass. These cables are the power source for all of that," said Neilson.

Sheriff's officials believe the thieves got into the normally gated site under a fence. They cut the locks and drove away with nearly $7,500 worth of equipment. They even took their food.

"They took the food, we couldn't believe this, this was insult to injury," said Neilson. "They got into the freezer and took all the frozen wieners and hot dog buns and chips and sodas."

This is La Canada Flintridge's 36th year in the Rose Parade. They have no commercial sponsors, use free space behind the local water company as a building site, and raised the $80,000 to build the float entirely from donations.

Despite the setback, Neilson thinks the float, called "Dog Gone" and features a giant dog catcher chasing a truck full of dogs, will be ready in time for the parade.

"We're coming right along, we have our first test drive in a couple of weeks so it's moving along. We think it's a winner," she said.

About 15 years ago, welding equipment was also stolen from the organization. Organizers say they're an easy target because they are the only Rose Parade float that is being built completely outdoors.

The association says they will have to replace the equipment gradually. They are also seeking donations. If you would like to help, you can donate here.


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