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Rose Parade Float Construction Site Vandalized In Copper Wiring Theft

PASADENA ( — The Tournament of Roses parade: it's a tradition 125 years in the making.

But as KCAL9's Joy Benedict reports, while this year's parade theme is "Dreams Come True", for one organization building a float, the experience has become a nightmare.

Volunteers with the La Cañada-Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association spent Tuesday morning helping police take fingerprints after thieves broke in to their construction site and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Jim Geoghgan, who has volunteered for the association for 20 years, said this is the 36th year the non-profit organization has built its own float funded entirely by donations.

"It makes me mad," said Geoghgan. "It's not like we are a company making money...we barely make even."

According to Geoghgan, the thieves broke in through a gate Saturday night, forced their way into the tool trailer, and then used the association's bolt cutters to clean them out of power cords.

A volunteer "noticed welding cables missing...after that, [he] saw locks broken," Georghgan said. "It went downhill after that."

The thieves took 220-volt copper extension cords about 2.5 inches thick, leading Geoghgan to suspect they were after the copper wiring.

All told, an estimated $7,000 in equipment is believed to have been stolen, Geoghgan said.

While no wiring was stolen from the float itself, replacing what was taken could set the group's efforts back by several weeks: the group only has enough power cords left to run two of its welders.

The float's theme, "Dog Gone", is about a dog's dream to run away from the dog catcher, but Geoghgan said he hopes these thieves aren't nearly as lucky.

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