Burbank Little League officials were hoping to spend Wednesday afternoon practicing, but they instead spent that time with police after someone stole hundreds of dollars' worth of gear from the organization's equipment shed.
The theft happened sometime between 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday at Brace Canyon Park, according to Sgt. Derek Green with the Burbank Police Department. It's unknown if a single person committed the theft or if multiple people were involved.
"This is a very selfish act on the part of the person or people responsible," Green said. "The equipment in that shed was used by the young members of our community for Little League baseball."
David Diamond, vice president of the Burbank Little League, said he was "shocked and horrified" that someone stole from the organization, which has players ranging in age from 5 to 14. The league is completely volunteer-based and its equipment is purchased through fundraising and donations, he said.
While the shed is usually locked, Diamond said it's open whenever the league has a game or practice.
"We think, when the shed was open during the game hours, somebody may have got lost in the crowd and grabbed some stuff," he said.
Multiple cases of baseballs were stolen, along with other pieces of equipment. The loss is estimated to be between $500 and $600.
Diamond said the league hasn't figured out yet how to fully replace the equipment, but several out-of-pocket purchases have been made so teams can play over the weekend.
"We're not going to let anything stop us from continuing the games," he said.
Because there wasn't any evidence left behind and no security cameras to capture the theft, Diamond said the chances of catching the thief are slim. He said he hopes whoever stole the equipment will return it — either take it back to Brace Canyon Park or leave it with police.
"Just return the property, no questions asked," he said.
Anyone with information about the theft can contact the Burbank Police Department at (818) 238-3210. Burbank Little League can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.