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'Pretty devastated': Calgary small business pleads for return of stolen portable playground

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Simon Nash spent days scrambling to clean and collect extra children's play equipment after thieves got away with a custom-made portable playground.

Security footage shows a black Dodge Ram truck towing a silver trailer away from a northeast Calgary warehouse area shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

The children's playground was packed inside the trailer — gone when staff showed up at the warehouse later in the day.

"(The trailer) vanished and I had to rack my brain for a minute or two to think where it could be and realized it's been taken and it was our playground, already loaded for an event the next morning," Simon said.

Simon and Marija Nash are the co-owners of Sprog and Sprocket and rent out the playground and other children's equipment for events and birthdays.

The Stampede and summer season is one of their busiest times of year.

"It was a special playground because it captures such a broad audience, so we loved setting it up," Marija said.

"We were just about to be doing a lot of Stampede events. It's perfect for the community events and the markets that happen."

Sprog and Sprocket staff are now cleaning and collecting similar children's play equipment out of storage to bring to some of the booked events, but the set-ups will be much different without the slide and ball pit.

The pair designed and had the portable playground made seven years ago this week.

The trailer and equipment are covered by insurance, but Simon says it would take months to re-make the structure, meaning they'd lose out on the busy Stampede season.

"(We're) pretty devastated about the playground going missing. But anyone who knows me knows I always try to make a positive out of a negative. I'm sure something good will come out of this," he said.

Calgary Police are investigating, and urging anyone with information to contact them at 403-266-1234.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

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