“Professional Thieves” broke into and vandalized the new Youth Sports Complex

The weekend of the 12th this month, the sports complex was heavily vandalized as thieves cut through several locks to gain access to the expensive equipment inside. The perpetrators, described as professional thieves by Parks Director Carson Lynch, had ripped copper wiring out of the heat pump on-site and tried to cut bolt locks at the facility as well. “Quite frankly,” Lynch stated to the Sapulpa City Council, “These are professional thieves that are out there right now, not children.”

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Lynch assumes the vandals had planned to return and steal the entire heat pump at a later time since the bleachers had been pushed aside leaving a gap wide enough for a pick-up truck to fit through and possibly load up stolen equipment. 

Spot where the now-locked heat pump was vandalized.

Mayor Henderson noted it would be a sad situation to completely close off the complex during construction since there are youth currently utilizing the area already, but he also understands that they have to do what they need for security.

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The complex currently gets used as soccer fields only, but that should be changing by the fall of 2022.

Lynch says he’s meeting with security companies currently and planning for cameras to be installed as soon as possible, while the location being remote makes it difficult to maintain physical security. As of right now, proper associates know how to gain access to the complex. Lynch assures no one is being denied access to the sports complex, however during this construction that requires millions of dollars of equipment to be constantly present, he doesn’t want people out there.  

The Sapulpa Youth Sports Complex, funded in part by the 2020 GO Bond, is still making slow and steady progress despite this and other obstacles. The dirt work for the facility is currently underway as they cut the fields and topsoil, but the recent inconsistent weather has slowed them significantly. Carson Lynch, Parks Director of Sapulpa, said they have about ten good weather days left with the dirt work before they can move onto concrete, estimating two weeks to two months depending on how kind the weather decides to be.  As well as water five to six feet underneath the soccer fields Lynch is having to mitigate, they continue to solve pop-up issues to be able to complete the complex.

On Tuesday, February 22nd, during a follow-up conversation with Sapulpa Times, Lynch said that he had a “strong belief” that the ball fields would be in use by the fall of 2022. “I’m about ninety-percent certain,” he said. “With Oklahoma weather, you can’t say one-hundred percent, but I feel very confident that we’re going to be able to play ball here in the fall.”