July 2, 2015


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Police recover Assiniboine Park's giant Skittles after unlikely playground heist

Three giant 'Skittles' have been recovered by Winnipeg police two days after they were stolen from the Nature Playground at Assiniboine Park.

The colourful balls, made of recycled rubber, are climbing obstacles for children. The balls were anchored to the ground along a path in the children’s play area, which is filled with unique items and structures to encourage children to run, jump, swing and climb.

The colourful balls stolen from the park weigh about 150 kilograms each.

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The colourful balls stolen from the park weigh about 150 kilograms each.

The balls, called Skittles by staff as they look like giant versions of the Skittles candy, are extremely heavy, weighing about 150 kilograms each.

Laura Cabak, Assiniboine Park Conservancy brand and communications manager, said it's not known where the balls had been since park staff discovered they were missing on Tuesday morning.

"We feel a combination of surprise and excitement. We're happy to have them back," Caback said.

The three balls are part of a collection of 14 which are located in various locations the park.

"Due to the overwhelming attention this got, support from both the media and the public, we were alerted by a tip to both us and the Winnipeg police last night. The police were able to retrieve the 'Skittles' and they returned them to us last night."

Cabak said the balls appear to be in good condition and will be reinstalled in the Nature Playground as soon as possible.

"We would like to thank the media and the public for their support and are happy to have the 'Skittles' back where they belong," she said.

"The response on Facebook was also really good. People love this playground and were really disappointed that the balls were gone. But the good news is they're back."

The playground is not open after dark and is surrounded by a fence with a gate that is locked at dusk. Who took the 'skittles' and how the perpetrators were able to get three extremely heavy objects out of the area are under investigation by police.

The Nature Playground includes a sand and water play area, slides, tunnels, swings, rubber mountains, net bridges and other structures.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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