Speed skating equipment stolen from Olympic Oval

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-24 10:42:36-04

KEARNS, Utah -- Thousands of dollars of high-end speed skating equipment was stolen from the Utah Olympic Oval and it was all caught on surveillance cameras.

Police say two suspects were seen walking into the facility during regular business hours carrying hockey bags. Entering the Oval, they did not appear out of the ordinary. However, police say the surveillance recording shows them breaking into four lockers and loading equipment into the bags.

Olympic hopeful Patrick Meek says his gear was stolen and that his training for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia will be hampered.

Meek says without his skates he can’t train on the ice.

“Missing the next few weeks is definitely not ideal,” said Meek.

Meek is stuck training on what he calls dry land, where he can only mimic the movement of skating.

“We are doing a lot of training for the competitive season and he can't skate and do the training he needs to do. So it really screws things up,” said Meek's coach Matt Kooreman.

Meek says the thieves have expensive equipment that basically do them no good. Most of the equipment is custom, geared only for him and the specific training he does -- property that will be difficult to find a buyer.

Click photo to enlarge.

“Skates are completely custom to each individual athlete. The boots are made out of carbon fiber and they are molded just for your own feet. So each skate is one of a kind,” said Meek.

In the meantime, he has ordered more skates, but it could take several weeks waiting and wasting valuable training time.

Meek and police are hoping someone recognizes the suspects. If anyone has information, they are asked to call Unified Police at (801) 967 4420.