PEORIA -- The BMX track at Detweiller Park in Peoria has been broken into and damaged several times in the past few weeks. Now the director is shutting it down temporarily, and families are left wondering when it will reopen.
All these racers can do right now is practice and that's because the gates on the track are currently down.
First, it was broken windows and doors, and then the concession stand.
But Track Director Rich Rowell said the most recent loss is leaving this track unable to operate. He said, "They stole our compressor our generator, a bunch of other equipment we needed to even operate the gate, so right now we can't race until we get some more equipment back."
The not-for-profit sporting group Chillicothe Extreme Sports can't pick up the tab to fix more than $5,000 worth of damage. "The issue right now, we can't secure anything here. We'd have to get mobile, get some kind of trailer we can haul in and out and we don't have the financial support for that."
This park holds the longest running BMX track in Illinois, and if it closes down permenantly, 10-year-old rider Isaac Bastian said he doesn't know what he'd do. "I don't know, I'd beg my dad to make me one at home."
Parents say these kids simply don't have anywhere else to ride. Dad Doug Suydam said, "With this particular activity this is the only place these kids have - it's not like football, baseball, or soccer where they've got fields all over different communities."
Rowell said more than 40 kids depend on this track weekly, and the growing sport just started a third racing team.
He said he'll do whatever he can to keep this track in business. "First race here was in 1980...hasn't missed a beat since then so we don't want it to go away."
Peoria Police and park district police are currently investigating. They have no suspects at this time.
To help Chillicothe Extreme Sports raise money to keep the track open, visit their website www.chillixs.org.