Copper crooks leave little leaguers swinging in the dark

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Copper crooks leave little leaguers swinging in the dark

CREATED Mar 6, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar 7, 2013

Reporter: Marcelino Benito
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When you think baseball, you think of stealing bases. But at Udall Park, thieving thugs are going for a bigger score. Thousands of dollars worth of copper wire.

When the sun goes down at Udall Park's baseball fields, the lights won't be turning on.

"What went through your mind? asked 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito. "We got 280 kids that won't be able to play baseball this year," replied Tim Klomp, President of the Sabino Canyon Little League.

The copper crooks had to pick up these heavy boulders to access the copper wire underneath. When it was all said and done, it was lights out at two of the three fields the league count on. Their season, all of a sudden, thrown into limbo.

"It's extremely frustrating," said Klomp.

Only one field left with the bright lights and that created a problem when kids got to practice.

"We're trying to get 25 different teams on one field that has lights, so it's a logistical nightmare," said Klomp.

Coaches huddled together Wednesday night to figure out what they could do to salvage a season that starts April 2nd.

"We're talking to managers, trying to shorten up practices, share fields," said Klomp.

But the sharing won't go on for too much longer. 9OYS has learned the city is stepping up to fix the problem. And they're stepping up now.

"I was told this late afternoon that an electrician will be on site tomorrow morning and the lights will be back on by Friday of next week," said Ward 2 council member Paul Cunningham.

It's expected to cost the city $5,000. Money well spent says Cunningham, if it gets the kids back on the field.

"I'm happy to say we're going to get this done before the season and the kids will be playing baseball," said Cunningham.

Meanwhile the people who did this still out there. TPD says the investigation is ongoing. If you have any information about what happened, please call police.