‘Please don’t take this away from them’: Equipment stolen from Special Olympics team

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (KCTV) — It’s one of the most popular sports in Special Olympics. But, even before the team from Lee’s Summit hits competition, it’s already losing out.

Someone stole the team’s equipment, right out of the coach’s car.

Fellow coach Dawn Jones told KCTV5 the thief didn’t just swipe the bocce balls, but the vinyl portable courts too.

“They have no courts to practice on because when you lay it out, they’re not going to have anything to judge the lines by,” she said. “It’s going to impact their training; it’s definitely going to impact their training.”

Jones said the team still has two sets remaining, but that’s not nearly enough to go around.

“We usually play 2-on-2, so that’s only four people per set,” she said. “And we have an upwards of 20 to 30 people playing at one time.”

For the team, it’s not just the love of sport. Bocce ball also offers valuable life lessons.

“They love it, they love it,” Jones pleaded. “Please don’t take this away from them.’

And the coach said it’s likely the thief doesn’t even know what was taken.

“They don’t know what they stole, it’s not really worth a ton,” she said. “If you resell them, you’re not going to make a lot. And it’s got our initials all over it.”

But, the stolen goods are priceless to this team, and they just want it back, no questions asked.

“No questions, we just want it back especially the courts right now. We gotta have them,” Jones said. “Please bring it back. We just want our team’s equipment back.

Coach Jones said with Special Olympics, everything is volunteer-driven. So now, the coaches who are already giving their time have to shell out money to replace the equipment.

If you know anything about the stolen equipment, or maybe you’re the person who took it, you can contact the Lees Summit Police Department at (816) 969-1700.