CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona's hockey community is celebrating after a stolen trailer full of league gear was recovered Monday.

Members of the Arizona Bobcats Youth Hockey Program, who were getting ready to start the season, were left scrambling after a trailer full of league gear was stolen from the Ice Den hockey rink in Chandler over the weekend.

[WATCH: Stolen youth hockey gear recovered in Chandler]

However, all was not lost after police recovered the trailer abandoned in Phoenix near 53rd and Van Buren streets Monday, and most, if not all, of the gear was still inside.

The team still has to do an inventory of the items but they hope to distribute the gear to hockey players soon.

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Man seen stealing hockey trailer in Chandler]

Police said the theft happened Sunday morning at about 5:30 a.m. at the rink located near Ray Road and 56th Street.

Police said they still looking for a man described as a white or Hispanic, wearing blue jean shorts, a black tank top and black hat. He was driving a Silver Toyota Sequoia SUV. There was a temporary tag in the rear window of the vehicle.

They're asking if you have information regarding the incident please call Chandler PD non-emergency silent tip line: (480) 782-4440.

In surveillance video released by Ice Den, you can see the driver backs in near a parked trailer and hitches it to his SUV. In just seconds, he drives off with the trailer full of hockey gear.

"There were hitch locks, there were padlocks, all over it, how they got that thing on and took off with it, I don't know," said Kristy Aguirre with Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association.

[WATCH: AZ Coyotes donate $20K toward replacing stolen gear of youth hockey teams]

Stored inside was new gear bags, track suits, and t-shirts. All things that would have gone to Arizona Bobcats Youth Hockey Players, like 10-year-old Spencer Leach.

"It's just fun to skate around and score goals a lot," said Spencer.

Spencer and his mom Stephanie arrived at their first practice of the season to the bad news.

"So to be excited and ramped up and put your heart and soul into making this team, and then get there and realize you don't get your stuff today, it's kid of disheartening," said Stephanie Leach.

Just when they thought they'd have to buy the gear all over again, the Arizona Coyotes came forward with a generous donation.

The team and organization pledged a total of $20,000, meant to replace the stolen items and get the players back on the ice. 

Since the gear was recovered, both the team and the Coyotes agreed that a donation to Valley youth hockey would be best for everyone.

"Really just an unfortunate situation but any little bit that we could help, hopefully we can make a difference and get these kids playing hockey again," said Ahron Cohen, Arizona Coyotes president and CEO.

"I think that's wonderful of the Coyotes to have done that," said Stephanie.


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Content Producer

Eric is an assignment editor and content producer with AZ Family-3TV & CBS 5 News. Read more about Eric in his bio.

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