A black, 16-foot, double-axle trailer, loaded with about $6,000 in equipment and supplies for the town of Stonewall’s new playground was stolen about midnight Saturday.

The trailer was purchased earlier in the year from Holt Trailer Manufacturing in Asher, and had been used to carry the supplies back and forth from the town’s storage yard to the park, where work was being finalized on the playground, according to project manager for the park, Dennis Heath.

“Thieves apparently have absolutely no concern for the needs of children,” Heath said. “The thieves apparently didn’t understand the value of items on the trailer, because they dumped several of the items on the side of County Road 3630 just west of Stonewall and south of Old Highway 3.”

Law enforcement officials said they believe the thieves are from the surrounding area. Officials said they will continue to pursue every lead to recover the trailer and the rest of the stolen items for the playground.

“It’s sad that such an act would be perpetrated against the children of our community,” Heath said. “This equipment is very specialized, and the hardware for assembling it can’t be easily purchased at a hardware store.”

Heath said the deadline for completing the work is today.

“It’s too early to know just how much of a delay this will put on us, but we’re determined to get the project done; our kids and our families need it,” Heath said. “I hope those responsible will return the trailer and the other items, or that an investigation will lead to the thieves and where the items can be recovered.”

The project is being funded through a Century Communities grant from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Throughout the project, there have been delays for weather and health problems with Heath.

“Nearly all the work has been accomplished by volunteers, and just two weeks ago, members of two motorcycle clubs from Texas and Oklahoma, Boozefighters and Forsaken Few, provided much-needed help to get close to completion,” Heath said.

He hopes a request for an extension on the project is possible from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Anyone having information that may assist in the recovery of the trailer and other items is requested to phone Stonewall police at (580) 265-4868.