When the Turlock American Little League opens its season March 1, it could be standing room only.
Thieves stole the aluminum bleacher seats from the little league’s baseball park on N. Johnson Road at Julien Elementary sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“With opening day coming up we are really going to have to scramble to find some sort of replacement,” said Phil Salazar, the little league’s field maintenance manager.
A similar theft was reported at Turlock high School about a month ago, Salazar said.
“We’ve had vandalism out here before, but this isn’t vandalism, this is theft,” Salazar said.
Salazar suspects it took two or more individuals to undo all the bolts and railings and load the 10 aluminum bleacher seats, each about 20 feet long.
The little league installed the bleachers about three years ago at an estimated cost of $8,000.
“It’s really frustrating that someone would do something like this, because it only hurts the kids,” Salazar said.
Recyclers in Turlock are required by law to report their purchases within a specified period to the Turlock Police Department.
“We would hope that anyone bringing in bleachers to our licensed recycling centers in Turlock would be questioned as to where they got them,” said police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the Turlock Police Department at 668-5550.