Thousands of dollars in equipment stolen from Mesa flag football league

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 23 at 9:11 AM

MESA, Ariz. -- Police in Mesa are trying to figure out who stole a trailer full of football equipment that belongs to a local flag football league.

Hundreds of kids from the ages of 3 to 11 play in the Thunder Alley Flag Football League, but they will have a hard time competing in games this season without all of their equipment.

League organizer Kristy Maffucci said she dropped off the trailer at the Smart Stop Self Storage lot near Guadalupe and Ellsworth roads in May, but when she went back last week all she found was an empty parking spot.

'We're in total shock, the only thing we could think of is somebody might have seen us loading it and seen what was inside of it and decided they wanted it for themselves," Maffucci said.

She estimates nearly $10,000 worth of goods was stolen, including the trailer itself.

"People don't realize how much of a cost goes into running the league, it's not just shirts and send 'em out there," she said.

Maffucci said the trailer was filled with 150 jerseys, flags, balls, pylons and mouthpieces. There were also fold-up tents and an expensive four-wheeler used to bring equipment out to the fields.

As the league's teams geared up to start practicing this week, word of the theft quickly spread to the young teammates.

"I was pretty upset when my dad told me," said fourth-grader Brody Lamagdelaine. "We need all the flags and the jerseys to play. We can't really play until we get all the gear."

Maffucci said the operators of the storage lot told her they'd last seen the trailer in May and just assumed she or someone else from the team had moved it.

3TV reached out to Smart Stop Self Storage for comment but did not receive a response.

Now Maffucci and the other parents are trying to scrape together donations to get enough equipment for the kids to be able to start playing on Sept. 8.

"Having to start over from scratch, it's tough. We just want our things back so we can keep the league rolling," Maffucci said.

For more information, visit the team's website or email Thunderalleyflag@aol.com.
 

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