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'Gives Me Hope': Officer, Lacrosse Team Help Teen Whose Gear Was Stolen

By Shawn Chitnis

ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (CBS4) – Littleton police responded to a case of stolen lacrosse gear earlier this month and saw how much it impacted a teenager at Englewood High School and his family.

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That prompted an officer to tell the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team which surprised that high school student on Wednesday with brand new equipment.

"Our athletic director pulled me out, I saw my dad there and I instantly thought the worst," said Travis Hastings, 18, a senior at Englewood High School.

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Travis Hastings (credit: CBS)

He was in calculus class working on homework when he left the classroom, worried he was in trouble.

Officer Andy Barnard was assigned the case and talked to Hastings' parents after they reported the stolen equipment.

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Andy Barnard (credit: CBS)

Barnard knew that gear, worth up to $1,200, was important to Hastings and that he was preparing to play when he attends Augustana College in the fall.

"To have part of your life, which in his case is lacrosse, stolen from you like that, especially when you're about to go through this big change, it can be quite devastating," said Barnard.

He asked the Mammoth if they could help out. They were eager to step in.

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"I jumped at the opportunity to be able to support another lacrosse player," said Brad Self, a defenseman for the Mammoth.  "We're learning real quick how tight knit the community is here."

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The team is not only a collection of the some of the best lacrosse players in the region, it's the reason Hastings enjoys the sport himself.

His first time seeing the game played was watching the Mammoth. He even developed his talent at one of their summer camps.

"Lacrosse is my life," he said. "It just means the world after really, that what's got me into the game. That's where I learned the initial skills. Now, they're doing this for me, it's amazing."

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Hastings says he was out shoveling snow last week and rushed back inside without properly locking his car with his gear inside.

"My heart just dropped," Hastings explained. "I had no idea what I was going to do."

Barnard hadn't met the student he helped out until the surprise reveal of all the gear at the school. He is impressed by Hastings and his family and hopes he enjoys a long run at playing lacrosse.

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"The look on Travis's face when we walked in, that's why I became a police officer," said Barnard.

Police recovered the stolen gear after the thief likely dropped the equipment by a neighbor's house because it was too heavy. Hastings says he plans to use his new gear at practice and can use his older equipment to introduce lacrosse to other students that may want to learn the sport.

"It gives me hope for everything," said Hastings.

Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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