Thieves lift snow-clearing equipment from Falconridge community rink

Value of stolen equipment and repairs to break-in damage pegged at $6,000

This photo taken before the theft shows the new snowblower that was stolen from the Falconridge Castleridge Community Association early Monday morning. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Falconridge Castleridge Community Association’s rink will have to be cleared by hand for the foreseeable future after thieves made off with the group’s snowblower and power brush.

Lee Pederson, the association’s general manager, said a pair of thieves struck around 2:30 a.m. on Monday.

“Our handyman came to get some tools out of the garage and noticed the door had been breached, and then he noticed two pieces of equipment were missing,” he said.

They reviewed some security footage and saw two people – one of whom they believe is a female – struggling to get the two pieces of equipment out of the shed.

“He had quite a chore dragging it to the end of the rink,” he said.

Pederson suspects they had been casing the area for some time, since they knew the group had just purchased a new snowblower, and they worked in total darkness.

He said the snowblower was brand new, but the power brush was much older and acted as a stand in for a Zamboni – which the rink did not have.

“They’re probably in for a shock when they try to start it up,” he said. “It was pretty old. I’ve been here over seven years, and it was old when I got here – let’s put it that way.”

Pederson said they’ve had offers of loans from other community associations and they have submitted an insurance claim.

The replacement value plus the cost of repairs to the garage comes in at about $6,000.

“The biggest impact is – we can’t clear the snow – so the kids can’t skate. The neighbours can’t skate,” said Pederson.

Pederson said a group of volunteers are the ones who keep the rink cleared and ready. Those volunteers are taking the news pretty hard – especially the last person to put away the equipment before it was stolen because he can’t be sure he properly secured the doors.

“I don’t know if it would’ve made any difference to be honest. They knew what they wanted and they knew how to get in,” he said.

The theft has been reported to the Calgary Police Service. Anyone with information is asked to call 403-280-4422.

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