NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk rugby team is hoping a thief will have a change of heart.
Someone stole their trailer with thousands of dollars of equipment inside.
The team is now scrambling to get new gear in time for a match this weekend.
The Norfolk Blues Rugby Club said they just want their stuff back, no questions asked.
The theft happened on Saturday night at the Willowwood Service Center on Tidewater Drive.
In rugby, players are used to taking hard hit, but for the Norfolk Blues this one is different.
“It’s definitely a big hit to the morale. A lot of guys are, you know, let down by it,” said David Paradiso, president of the Blues Rugby Club.
Someone stole the team’s trailer while it was parked at its usual spot at Willowwood Service Center.
The team didn’t realize it was stolen until another member went to pick up the trailer and it was gone.
“He contacted me when he showed up and he was like ‘well it’s not here, where would it be?’” said Jimmy Smith, assistant coach for the team.
The crime was caught on the business’ surveillance camera. Smith saw the video and said whoever took the trailer did it fast.
“Saw a car come in from Tidewater and in under five minutes, they were in. Two people were in, loaded the trailer and head back north on Tidewater,” Smith said.
The thieves drove off with an estimated $10,000 worth of jerseys, balls, tackling pads and other equipment inside.
“We’re your everyday person but we just really like playing rugby,” Smith said. “It’s hard, something like this, financially.”
We’re told other area teams have offered to lend the Blues their jerseys and equipment for their matches this weekend,
Paradiso said he’s grateful for the support and hopeful the team can still play in sync with one another.
“It’s like going to work in someone else’s clothes – you’re just not going to feel right,” he said.
Despite the situation, Smith is confident the team will bounce back.
“You go forward. That’s our motto. We’re going to keep going forward no matter what,” he said.
The team is raising money to replace the stolen jerseys and equipment,
If you’d like to help, click here.