Copper thieves steal from Grand Prairie softball field - Dallas News |

Copper thieves steal from Grand Prairie softball field

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Copper thieves may have ruined the season for a group of youth girls softball players in Grand Prairie.

Sometime over the weekend, thieves broke into the McFalls Park East, bashed in the entry plates at the base of light poles and ripped out the copper wiring. They stole as much as they could from six of the poles.

"With the damage that was done to the pole, we didn't have that comfort level. So we closed the complex until we can verify it," said Duane Strawn with Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation.
That means 18 teams in the Grand Prairie Girls Softball Association had their games canceled this week.

"It's making us feel really sad because we've been missing all our games," said 8-year-old softball player Madison Willingham.

Games can't be played on the fields until the damage is repaired.

"It's unfortunate that people would steal and vandalize our field and that's all that these Grand Prairie girls know," said a parent of the one the players Melinda Goforth.

"It's really sad that they damaged the field. It's not fair for the other kids," said athlete Kaylee Steinbring.

The poles will be inspected to see whether they're safe to be patched up or if they'll have to be replaced. It's a decision that could determine just how many games these girls will have to cancel.

"These are nights and games and memories that you'll never get back, the home run that was hit, the great catch that you don't have anymore because somebody chose to do something that would endanger the kids," said Strawn.

The Softball Association was told by the city that in the best case scenario the teams could be back in the game by next week.

The cost of the repair could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.

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