Hockey gear goes on wild ride out of Chandler SanTan Sun News

Hockey gear goes on wild ride out of Chandler

Hockey gear goes on wild ride out of Chandler
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

 

A trailer containing a youth league’s hockey gear was stolen in Chandler, replaced and found — all within 48 hours. 

It started Aug. 11 outside the Ice Den in Chandler, where a white trailer was stolen by an unknown person at about 5:30 a.m. Security footage captured the subject driving a Toyota Sequoia into the parking lot and hauling away the trailer a short time later. 

The trailer contained custom-made gear belonging to the Arizona Bobcats, an organization that oversees several youth hockey teams for players between the ages of six and 18. 

The stolen gear included items like bags, gloves, jackets, shirts and a few helmets.

Kristy Aguirre, executive director of the Bobcats, said the theft would have impacted up to 100 players. It would have been a significant loss, she added, because the players were just assembling to kickoff their season. 

Because the gear is custom-made, it takes manufacturers a couple months to manufacture and deliver the items.

 So, Aguirre worried how soon they could supplement everything, but she vowed not to have players pay for replacing the gear.

The Ice Den posted about the theft on social media Monday morning, generating a large response from the community. It eventually caught the attention of the Arizona Coyotes. 

One of the team’s players, Lawson Crouse, felt compelled to help the younger hockey players and consulted his teammates. 

“I saw the reports on social media over the weekend and immediately wanted to figure out a way to help out,” Crouse said in a statement. “I reached out to the team and they were on board, hockey equipment isn’t easy to replace, and we want to make this as easy for the kids and families as possible.”

By Monday afternoon, the Coyotes announced it would donate $20,000 to replace the stolen gear. 

Aguirre immediately expressed her gratitude and got to work with figuring out how to begin ordering new gear. 

“The Arizona Coyotes are always so generous and supportive of the youth hockey programs in the valley,” Aguirre said Monday afternoon, Aug. 12. 

That night, a resident noticed a white trailer that looked familiar to one he had seen on the news. The trailer was found abandoned on Van Buren Street in Phoenix. 

The bystander contacted the Chandler Police Department and authorities confirmed on Aug. 13 that it was the Bobcats’ trailer. Police have not said whether they’ve located those who stole the trailer.

The Bobcats discovered their gear inside the trailer and thanked the community for finding it so quickly. 

“It looks like the gear went on a wild ride, but luckily, like our players, it’s built for speed, strength and safety,” the organization wrote in a statement. “We still need to inventory the items but are thankful and relieved to have the equipment and apparel back in our possession.” 

A spokesman for the Coyotes said they were “not aware” that recovery of the trailer would change the team’s decision to donate $20,000 to the youth league.

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