Thousands in equipment stolen from Kennedy Little League - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Thousands in equipment stolen from Kennedy Little League

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 MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police are investigating after thousands of dollars worth of grounds equipment was stolen from a Kennedy Little League storage facility over the weekend.

Police officials say two John Deere Gators, three gas-powered grass trimmers and two commercial lawnmowers were stolen from the little league complex on Commercial Avenue on the city's east side.

"Lap top computers, iPads, iPhones, those types of things are easily turned around and sold," police spokesperson Joel DeSpain says.

"Something like these tractors, particularly the John Deeres, would be a very large item, so where a thief might move these things, we really don't know at this time," DeSpain says.

Earlier this year, Kennedy Little League's former president, Steven Verhage, received a jail sentence after embezzling more than $200,00 in league money. In addition to Verhage's court-required restitution, league officials say portions of league fees over the next decade will have to be used to try to recoup Verhage's embezzlement.

League board of directors member Brad Welling tells 27 News the theft is a blow, but says Kennedy is resilient, and thriving despite the setbacks.

"I can say that I'm very impressed we have been as a collective group," Welling says.

Welling says the number of children in Kennedy Little League has grown to more than seven hundred.

While police detectives investigate the weekend crime, league president Jerry Benisch says community members have already begun to offer assistance.
Benisch says representatives of the Bruce Company have pledged to mow the league complex's ten acres of grass, so that fields can be ready for weekend practices and games.
Anyone with information about the thefts should contact the Madison Area Crimestoppers at 266-6014.





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