As far as Gregg Marsh is concerned, the thieves can return their stolen goods and be on their way.
Marsh, the Franklin High baseball coach and a 1982 graduate of the school, had his truck broken into outside of his Stockton home in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
A bag with baseball gear used for the autumn AAU program (connected to, but not officially a part of Franklin High's varsity team) was taken in a smash-and-grab job. The bag contained equipment such as helmets, gloves and backup catcher’s gear. Marsh believes the culprits didn’t care about baseball and just grabbed a nondescript bag that could have been clothes or a tent. The thieves didn't take a bucket of baseballs or bats sitting next to the bag.
Marsh just wants the gear back.
“I know people make mistakes. People are desperate. I get that,” Marsh said. “Just drop it somewhere where it could be found."
But, he can’t help but be frustrated.
“It’s disappointing, the equipment means nothing” to anybody besides a baseball program, he said. “It’s equipment I’ve acquired the past few years.”
Franklin also coped with a break-in three years ago, in a trailer containing golf equipment at Oakmoore Golf Course in Stockton. That time, the district was able to use insurance to replace what was lost, Yellowjackets athletic director Anthony Ball said.
"It's hard. Half of the kids who are coming in don't even have gloves," Ball said. "Gregg does a phenomenal job of networking with people, like old alumni. Just trying to get people to help give back to the kids."
Marsh had taken his stepson to Franklin’s home football game on Friday night at Verner Field, and stopped by the Yellowjackets’ fieldhouse to grab the gear in preparation for Saturday morning’s AAU practice.
“My neighbor said she heard a ‘smash’ noise at about 4 a.m. on Saturday,” Marsh said. “She looked out her window and said she just saw a black, four-door, older car take off with no lights on. She didn’t see anything because she couldn’t see the truck from her vantage point.”
Marsh's friends backed him immediately.
Tony Lopez, who owns 84 Auto Service Center in Stockton, went to Marsh’s home and replaced the window of his truck, gratis, and without telling him beforehand. Lopez’s son, Andres Lopez, played baseball for Marsh at Franklin from 2001-2004.
“He came over without me being home and he went and got a window, got it, put it on my truck while I was at baseball practice,” Marsh said.
Another friend, Bernadette Reyna, started a “Go Fund Me” online account – “Franklin High School Baseball Fund” – that had generated $250 as of late Tuesday afternoon. Bernadette’s son, Jason, played football for Marsh at Franklin.
“I don’t want to prosecute anybody,” Marsh said. “I was out the window in my truck, but I’d trade that any day for that gear.”
— Contact reporter Thomas Lawrence at (209) 546-8272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at recordnet.com/sportsblog and on Twitter @RecordPreps