A series of thefts has left members of the South Okanagan Minor Baseball Association (SOMBA) scratching their heads.
Most recently, a $1,700 batting turtle was allegedly stolen from the Carmi ball fields last week. They are asking the community to keep an eye out for the item, and asked those with information to contact the organization.
SOMBA also requested that those using the Carmi field or McNicoll Park to keep a close eye out on the sheds and buildings.
Head of player and coach development, Joshua Snider, said several thefts and break-ins at their fields have taken place over the years. Last year, he explained, thieves broke in and took $500 in food and beverage from the concession stand, and $300 from another.
In February this year, he said SOMBA had to replace three locks on their midget baseball field storage unit.
The solution, in his mind, is to secure their items in a more efficient way. A recent installation of puck locks has deterred the break-ins, however Snider said they haven’t stopped completely.
During the winter, he said, their organization had issues with individuals breaking in and sleeping in their sheds. In the past they have found needles and other drug-related paraphernalia in their buildings. He said this is frustrating especially because their kids enter these buildings are are exposed to these materials, something club president Iain MacIntyre echoed.
“How truly disappointing these thefts and break-ins have been, as it is ultimately the players who suffer,” said MacIntyre. “We work hard as an association to provide a positive experience for our baseball players in the South Okanagan, and these thefts are incredibly disappointing.”
The Western News has reached out to Penticton RCMP for comment.