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Thieves Steal Santa Barbara Pony Baseball Equipment from MacKenzie Park

As it heads into playoff and all-star season, Santa Barbara Pony Baseball is having to make due with a hodge-podge of spare field equipment after thieves stole a pitching mound cover, artificial turf and a tarp from MacKenzie Field, where the youth sports league plays.

SB Pony leaders noticed the theft May 13, and surmised that the equipment had been taken two or three days earlier.

The organization features five age-based baseball divisions for children 5 to 14 in the Santa Barbara–Goleta–Carpinteria area.

(In addition to being the name of the 13- to 14-year-old division, “Pony” stands for “Protect Our Nation’s Youth.”)

“My son plays at that field, and it's upsetting that this impacts the kids’ ability to play, but it's also scary for them,” Rosario Terrazas, an SB Pony board director, told Noozhawk in an email. 

“These kids are on the field 3-4 days a week, either practicing, playing a game or just there to get some practice time with mom or dad. Aside from home, it's one place they should feel safe.”

SB Pony president Ivan Pelly placed the cost of replacing stolen equipment at $1,200. Taken were a nearly 14-foot circular pitching mound cover, a 10-by-20-foot cloth tarp that provides shade for a dugout, and a 4-by-8-foot piece of artificial turf attached to another mound.

Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Joshua Morton said authorities don’t have any suspect information, and have not heard of other similar reported thefts.

Pelly said each item was customized for its purpose, meaning that until new ones are ordered or the stolen ones recovered, the league has to make due with ill-fitting spare equipment.

“We did have a former Pony Baseball parent and local contracting-company owner contact us, and they offered to actually step up and pay for the replacement for those items,” Pelly told Noozhawk, referring to Randy Barnes of Signal Construction.

He noted that SB Pony would still like to recover the pilfered equipment.

“People need to realize that they aren't just stealing ‘stuff’ — they're taking the joy away from a child,” Terrazas said.

 “I just can't fathom why someone would do it.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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