Hundreds of feet of copper wire stolen from Yakima Ice Rink - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hundreds of feet of copper wire stolen from Yakima Ice Rink

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- With winter just a few months away, The Yakima Ice Rink is getting ready to re-open for hockey and ice skating season. But a recent break-in has created some big problems for volunteers who now say it's going to be struggle just to open.

It's a big blow to the all-volunteer, non-profit organization that runs the only community ice rink in the Yakima Valley.

They say the break-in happened last week and thieves caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.

During the winter months it's not hard to find kids and adults playing hockey and learning to skate at the rink.

It's a rink that depends on the generosity of others and it's now facing an uncertain future after thieves stole hundreds of feet of copper wire.

"They took all of the copper wiring that runs from basically our main panel out to the compressors and everything in between," said Chris Sutherland, the rink's operations and maintenance volunteer.

Sutherland is one of the dozen or so volunteers that work to keep the rink running.

He says they have about 70 kids involved in the hockey and figure skating programs and hundreds more who come down just to skate.

"A couple hundred dollars worth of scrap metal and you've shot how many dozens of kids in the foot because they no longer have a venue to recreate for the winter," said Sutherland.

The organization doesn't have much money in reserves, and with the $5,000-$10,000 repair bill it's going to be a struggle to get going this year.

"To have something like this happen where they really don't have the resources available at hand to fix what's been done, it's hard to watch and not be able to help," said Ian Cain, a hockey player at the Yakima Ice Rink.

"If there's anybody that's out there watching that can loan us any kind of assistance at all, we could certainly use it," said Sutherland.

Sutherland says it's hard to say if they'll be open for skating this winter, but he says they'll do everything they can to get the ice frozen.