Thieves steal costly playground hardware

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KOOTENAI — Playground hardware valued at $1,000 was stolen on Thursday, according to city officials.

The nuts and bolts were being stored beneath a gazebo in preparation for the installation of new playground equipment to replace equipment that was damaged by a youthful arsonist last year.

The new playground equipment was funded through a grant from the Union Pacific Railroad community foundation and funding from Rotary Clubs in Sandpoint and Ponderay.

The incorrect playground equipment was sent to the city, which caused a delay in its installation, said Mayor Nancy Lewis. In the meantime, thieves capitalized on the delay and pilfered the specialty hardware.

“They were expensive nuts and bolts,” she said.

A security camera captured the theft on video, but Lewis said the lighting was too poor to identify the suspects.

“You can see shadows, but you can’t make them out,” said Lewis.

They appeared to be bigger boys, she added.

Those with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the stolen hardware are asked to contact the city by calling (208-265-2431) or sending an email (

A minor burned the playground down in July 2016 and was prosecuted in juvenile court, records show.

The fire caused an estimated $15,000 in damages.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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