For the second time in four years, thieves have stripped the electrical copper wiring from a soccer park in Windsor, darkening the lights on the playing field.
The theft at Wilson Ranch Soccer Park involved the removal of more than a half-mile of thick copper wiring and will cost an estimated $10,000 to fix and replace.
After the last theft in late 2008, the town took extra measures to avoid a repeat by locking the boxes leading to the wires.
"The unfortunate part is we had gone a little further to make the lids for the boxes a little more secure with a special tool to access the screws," said Tony Troia, Windsor facilities supervisor. "They found a way to pry and break it on all of them."
The most recent loss was discovered Jan. 16. If there was a good side to the thievery, it's that it took place when the fields are not used that much.
"As far as the impact, it's pretty low this time of year because of the weather," said Jon Davis, Windsor recreation division manager.
He said some Ultimate Frisbee players and a couple of soccer teams that practice on the field at night had to find other places to play.
But the 700 or so youngsters in the Windsor Youth Soccer League who use it from August through October weren't immediately impacted.
Soccer league officials, however, immediately began soliciting funds to make the lights operable again.
The Town of Windsor agreed to pay the entire bill to get the lights working, but the soccer league nevertheless wanted to help out.