Professional thieves target Calvary Christian football team - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Professional thieves target Calvary Christian football team

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Calvary Christian School has been in Columbus since 1975, but they've never had a football team until recently.  After a semi-final appearance in the second year of the program, the team's hard work was rewarded with all their equipment being stolen.

"The booster club treasurer went out to get the grill Saturday before our games and when he went out there to the area, there was no trailer," said head coach and athletic director Brian Osborne.

A 14x7-foot black Lark trailer was tied to a pole near the school. Besides the grill, the trailer stored everything the team needs to play their home games at Britt David Park.

"At first I thought maybe, the youth group from the church is using it or another group from the school or something like that.  Nobody knew anything about it being gone and so then the reality hit; it had been stolen," said booster club treasurer Mark Walker.

Someone needed bolt cutters to remove the chain and a large truck to haul it away.  Inside the trailer were goal posts, pads, yard markers, tables, and many other items that were just purchased in September. The total loss is over $7,000.

"Football season is a long way away so we should have enough time to order that stuff before the next football game, but the items like hoodies, we wanted to sell during the winter. Our booster club's not going to be able to now," said Coach Osborne.

The players themselves were shocked to hear that someone would commit this type of crime on church property.

"It's very disrespectful, whoever did it," said quarterback Jacob Ammons.

The team kicker and running back, Jeremy Walker, was quick to dismiss the idea that this was a school prank. "I don't know that it was necessarily a rival school because a lot of the schools we played in football are a little ways away from here and I don't think they really needed it."

"My guess is someone just wanted the trailer and all that stuff just happened to be inside of it," said Coach Osborne.

The theft follows closely on laborious fundraising efforts to create a brand new football team.  Losing nearly everything that was recently purchased was especially frustrating for treasurer, Mark Walker.

"We're going to try and turn it into the school's insurance, but there's a $2,500 deductible, so it really puts us back into a hole that we didn't expect to be in," said Walker.

The school bought the trailer from Columbus Discount Trailers.  While the trailer did not have the school's logo printed on the side, the owner of the lot said all of his trailers have silver hubcaps.  Most others come with white wheels. 

The lot owner, who did not wish to be identified, believes thefts are on the rise because trailers are less regulated than motor vehicles.  He said it's easier for people to take them out-of-state and resell them.  Trailers also spend less time on the road than a car, making them less visible to police who are trying to find them.  But even if thieves have changed the plates, if an officer comes across a suspected stolen trailer, there are serial numbers hidden in various places throughout the vehicle than can be traced.

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