Copper thieves leave San Jose Little League players in the dark

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Copper thieves are stealing more than just wire in the South Bay. Their crime left the San Jose Police Athletic League field in the dark and almost ruined a youth baseball playoff game Wednesday night.

It was Yankees versus the Braves during a big playoff game under the lights at the San Jose Police Activities League sports complex, but in right field, it was lights out.

"We might not be able to see, but we'll try our best to see the ball," player Christian Martinez said.

Thieves stole all the copper wire from a giant light pole, leaving much of the field in the dark.

"We have a very important game today and he chose today to take it," player Lyness Ota said.

Angry parents say having no working field lights could put the playoffs in jeopardy.

"The night games are awesome with the lights on. It's bright out here, the boys love it, and for someone to rob them of that it is upsetting," parent Nadette Delao said.

It's not clear how they got in, but thieves took a lot of copper wire from a spot near the lights, which is worth about $100 on the street. However, replacing the lights will be a lot more.

"The estimate we got to repair those lights is somewhere between $20,000 - $25,000," Sgt. Jim Ureta from the San Jose Police Activities League said.

The city will be stuck with the bill.

Parent Jim Martinez has a message for the copper thieves: "I hope you have a conscience and that your conscience bothers you bad enough to bring it back and leave it at the doorstep of the front gate of PAL."

In the end, this game went into extra innings leaving the field extra dark for these youngsters.

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