Equipment stolen from the Hoover High School baseball team

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Hoover High School baseball team started their week with a big setback.

“I saw it and it was open and I knew I was the first here,” coach David Jones said. “I just said something was wrong and my guts dropped.”

Jones says someone broke into school grounds near Barstow and First and stole an ATV used to maintain the grounds. They think it happened early Saturday morning.

The culprits had to force open two different doors to access the equipment – the main one and the access door.

The quad they stole is all black. It is usually under a tarp with a double-wrapped chain through the axle.

But Jones says the way the chain was cut, the thief used some type of power tool.

He says it is not only a violation but also a disadvantage for the whole team.

“Players and coaches are spending time in and out of practice to keep the pitches nice,” he said.

A similar situation occurred at Bullard’s baseball program last May when thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen.

Fortunately, the community rallied behind the team to bring the student-athletes back to the field.

For now, Hoover’s players and coaches are “getting to work” raking and dragging the diamond by hand, which would normally take 10 minutes to complete.

While it could be an unfortunate setback, Jones says it’s not a complete withdrawal.

“Athletics is an important part of the academic success of these kids, which is why I coach,” he said. “There are life lessons here. It’s more than baseball and we’re going to learn a lesson from that.”

Fresno police said they are looking for suspects and are asking anyone with video of the area or information to contact them.

If you would like to help donate to the team, a GoFundMe has been launched.

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