Thieves leave high school baseball team in the dark

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A Wichita church and school were vandalized three different times this spring, and the crimes have left the baseball program in a pickle.

The Valley Center Mud Daubers are getting ready for their first game this summer, but they won't be playing under the lights.

“There's a little charm playing at night, under the lights,” said Nathan Meredith. “There’s a good vibe to playing baseball."

Life Prep Academy High School's Athletic Director and baseball coach Jeff Oldenburg explains why.

"They went over here started cutting wires," said Oldenburg.

Thieves hit the baseball field three times this spring. The first time in March. They broke into the storage shed, stealing lawnmowers, golf carts, and tools. Then they ripped out all the copper wiring from the lights and scoreboard.

Just last week, they came back for the third time. Again pulling all the replaced wiring out of the light poles. In all, the damage totals $130,000 money the school doesn't have.

"They probably came out here trying to make a quick buck, but I don't think they realized the negative impact it would have on everybody," said Oldenburg.

The school had to reschedule games all spring  because of the vandalism. Just when they thought the field would be ready for summer college ball, it was hit again.

"We're just slowly piecing it together,” said Oldenburg. “Trying to make it more secure and replacing the golf cart and mower to get things back up and running."

The school is working on getting security cameras and a chain linked fence around the baseball park in hopes of preventing the vandalism from happening again. If you have any information about these crimes you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.