Copper wire stolen from a Chowchilla park again

CHOWCHILLA, Calif.

The latest theft happened last Wednesday or Thursday at the Sports and Leisure Park on 15th and Sonoma.

Just three weeks ago, city officials spent close two-thousand dollars fixing lights at the park.

"Click. Right here is what was cut, and this is what was taken was about 200 feet of each, of each of these three."

A crime that took just minutes to commit, will cost the cash-strapped city of Chowchilla three-thousand dollars in repairs.

That's on top of the 18-hundred they've already spent this month.

Parks and Facilities supervisor, Joe Roman says the latest copper wire theft affected one pole on the soccer field, two on the baseball field, and four additional park lights.

Joe Roman said, "About three weeks ago, we replaced everything, got everything going again, and we got hit last week, so we're back to square one."

Because of safety concerns, the baseball field can no longer be used at night.

That means, the city is losing out on revenue because they're limited on when they can rent it out.

As for the soccer field, "Keep it up in the air!"

Youth coach, Sal Dicochea says while the kids can still practice, the back portion is now off limits.

Sal Dicochea said, "You know, you're trying to do something positive for these kids, but people at the same time are you know, taking from that."

Chowchilla officials are just as frustrated.

Like other cities, they too, struggle to keep up with the costs associated with copper wire theft.

They now have plans to make electrical boxes like these theft proof.

They're also urging the public to help out, by reporting suspicious activity.

Peggy Haupt said, "You know, if you see something going on in the dark, call the police department. You know don't think someone else is going to call it in, and protect the park because it belongs to you."

City officials say they intend to repair the lights right away.

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