Eight tennis “mini nets” used for a summer kids’ program were stolen from the Red Hook rec park two weeks ago.
According to town recreation director John Kuhn, the nets are specially designed for young tennis beginners and were set up on the adult-size town courts to provide more learning spaces for a free tennis camp for kids ages 6-12. The nets were left out after each day’s instruction, not locked up with the rest of the equipment, so the kids could continue their practice, he added.
The nets went missing sometime on July 15 or early July 16 before camp opened, according to program director Bob Myerson, of Rhinebeck Tennis Club.
“The program was working really well, the kids were very enthusiastic. Who would think people would steal a net like that?” Kuhn told the Observer.
The rec department has filed police reports with Red Hook Police and the county Sheriff’s Department, but so far no leads have turned up, Kuhn said. Police did not return requests for comment.
The nets, 18 ft. long by 18 in. high, cost $100 each, according to Myerson. The town had purchased four of them and the other four were bought through a grant from the USDA.
Myserson said he purchased four new nets right after the theft so that the program could keep going until its last day Aug. 1. “It didn’t set us back, these kids are amazing,” he added.