Heil Park, sans hoops

The basketball hoops at Heil Park in rural Kankakee that were removed have been returned.

KANKAKEE — The basketball rims that were mysteriously removed from the two backboards on the Heil Park court have been returned.

The Daily Journal reported on Wednesday that the rims had been stolen at the park. It was revealed at this past Monday’s Kankakee Valley Park District board meeting that a neighbor told park district employees that another neighbor removed the rims because he said he was tired of the people speeding along Exore Lane to get to the park.

The posted speed limit on Exore Lane is 25 mph, and some neighbors were concerned for the safety of the many children in the neighborhood with cars speeding up and down the street in the Heil Estates subdivision in Kankakee.

“It worked out well,” said Dayna Heitz, executive director of the KVPD. “Our staff was there at 8 [o’clock Friday] morning and miraculously our hoops are back. … They were very neatly placed on the court.”

Heitz said on Monday that the district had received emails about why the rims were removed and if they were going to be put back up. The park district filed a theft report with the Kankakee County Sheriff’s department about the stolen rims. After the Daily Journal story was published, the park district office received several more calls.

With all that transpired this week, Heitz said it was nice the rims were returned.

“They’re getting put back up [Friday],” she said.

The park district was looking for some anti-theft locking nuts to put on the rims when they put them back up, but staff were unable to locate any after calling around to several distributors.

“We’re going to put them up with regular nuts and bolts,” Heitz said. “We’re struggling to find [anit-theft locking nuts]. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We’ll keep trying.”

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