SAN ANTONIO – Normally they're the ones doing the hitting, but sometime early this week, the Alamo City Rugby Football Club was hit hard. Someone broke into the team's two storage containers at their fields at Brooks Park on Goliad Road.
One container had practice gear and the other had their field maintenance equipment. Nothing appeared to be stolen from the first, but the team is missing two ride-on lawnmowers and numerous hand tools like shovels, picks and rakes.
Coach Luis Hernandez said the team has had to deal with stolen copper wire from lights, bent goal posts and even stolen portable toilets before, but this was the most expensive crime he could remember.
"The mowers alone, I figure about $5,000 to $6,000," Hernandez said, while standing in the second container. "All this equipment that was in this barrel, because this barrel was full, I'd say another $400 to $500."
The team needed that gear to clear their fields for an eight-team tournament scheduled for Oct. 8. Fortunately, Hernandez said a former player who used to run a lawn care business saved the day.
"He's going to offer his services for that one day and just help us out right now," Hernandez said.
He's still worried about the long term. The team will have to replace the tools and equipment over time and that will require a lot of money.
Hernandez said the team is considering putting out game cameras, like the kind used for hunting, in case there's ever another theft. Then at least they'll have something to go on.
The coach is also angered the team was victimized in a public park they help maintain.
"It's just sad that, you know, we have to go under more duress to secure what we have here just to maintain a park," Hernandez said.
Sounds like the tournament is coming just in time to relieve some frustration.