Nonprofit sports league dealt blow when thieves nab thousands of dollars worth of equipment

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – A group kids who play soccer will wrap up their season on limited and borrowed equipment this weekend. Independence Police are trying to figure out who broke into the league’s storage shed between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The Soccer Association of Independence board member Amy Jolley has four kids who play for the league. She said, “I was the one who locked up last night.” After Tuesday night’s field time, she checked twice to make sure the small brown storage shed was locked tight. “To be the last one there and know that everything was in place and this morning get a phone call that it’s been busted into [was bad],” said Jolley.

The soccer mom said police told them more than $10,000 worth of stuff used for kids’ soccer games is gone. Bobby Tatum is the league’s president. He described what was taken. “Our nets, we had some chargers out there for individuals that might need a jumpstart on their vehicle, ball pumps and bags, medical stuff.”

The most expensive things taken were a couple golf carts, used to shuttle some of oldest spectators. Tatum said this really hurts the nonprofit's pocketbook. He said, “We try to keep our league fees down to allow the children, the less fortunate, to still be able to play soccer and it takes a bite out of the budget for sure.”

The association has insurance on the carts, but Tatum said everything else is a loss. “It’ll take us several years to recoup ten thousand dollars’ worth of stuff.”

Because the value of the stolen equipment is more than $10,000, it could be charged as a felony.

The Soccer Association of Independence is offering a reward to anyone who can provide police with information that will lead to an arrest.​