Thieves steal $3,000 field tractor from Argyle Athletic League

President of league says tractor is vital to safety of kids

By Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the second time in less than a month, someone stole an important piece of field equipment from a Westside Little League. The Argyle Athletic Association says someone broke into the field's storage container and stole the tractor used to plow the field. 

A few weeks ago, someone also stole a field plow from the Normandy Athletic Association.

The president of Argyle Athletics said because of the similarities, he thinks someone is targeting these Little Leagues. 

He said the thieves didn't even have to break the lock. They just broke open the hinges because the container is falling apart.

This tractor is a John Deere Gator. It's what makes the fields smooth and safe to play on. The association is now out the $3,000 that the piece of equipment costs and it doesn't have funds to replace the tractor. 

In the meantime, the association has to move practices to Argyle's other field miles away. The president of the association, Jeffrey Eads, had a message for whoever is stealing this field equipment.

"I'm very sad. You know, obviously, it affects the kids. I'm just a volunteer. Like anyone else, it affects the kids. It's more about the kids than me, it's taking away from the kids. When you rob from any athletic association like us, you're robbing from the kids," Eads said.

The association is now working with the city of Jacksonville to come up with a more secure storage solution. Eads says Councilman Randy White pledged to help partially fund construction of a new building that would replace the aging storage container.

Looking out for their fellow league, Eads says the Argyle Athletic Association is going to donate an old field drag to the Normandy Athletic Association, which wasn't able to hold any more games after its field plow was stolen. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up for anyone who would like to donate to help replace the stolen tractor.
 

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