Thieves Steal Nearly All Equipment From Metro Soap Box Derby Organization

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Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Soap box derby racing may remind some people of the olden days, but it is still active in Des Moines.

However, a metro group is currently facing a setback; the Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association recently had nearly all its equipment stolen.

“They stole a couple of the cars, about five sets of wheels, all of our power cords, even extension cords, amplifiers, microphone, computer, they even stole a first aid kit,” said Mark Artwein, the association’s race director.

The equipment–totaling approximately $10-15,000–was taken from a storage shed at the racetrack in Ewing Park. The stolen gear included all the timing equipment needed to run a race.

The association says the spare cars that were stolen are there so children who can’t afford to build their own can still participate in races.

To add insult to injury, the association was supposed to have the last race of the season on Saturday, with some racers needing the points to qualify for the world championships in Akron, Ohio.

“It’s heartbreaking. Like I said, there are kids who were going to travel here, all they needed was a few more points to compete in the world championships in Akron, Ohio, in July, and now some of them might go to other cities to race, or just not go.”

The association is trying to throw together a last-minute race next weekend by scraping up some supplies from other derby cities like Omaha.