A robotics team from St. Paul's Highland Park High School faced a setback this weekend when a trailer with the group's equipment in it was stolen.
The trailer has turned up but much of the equipment in it was taken.
"While the cart survived, along with many nuts, bolts and screws, everything else is gone: batteries, motors, electronics, wiring, safety kit and flashlight," Marta Shore, a parent and team mentor, said Sunday.
She said the trailer was hitched to another mentor's vehicle in the Highland Park neighborhood when the lock was cut off the back and the trailer hauled away between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, Shore said the trailer was located and taken to an impound lot.
The team has already reached its fundraising goal of $2,000 to replace items in time for an upcoming regional competition in Duluth.
Highland Park's team, dubbed the Automatons, spent the first six weeks of the new year building a robot from scratch. Shore said the robot wasn't in the trailer when it was stolen.
"I'm confident this team will be able to go to Duluth and shine," she said.
Her daughter, Greta Shore, said the outpouring of support and well wishes "made me feel like everything is going to be OK even though we have this fixture of our team stolen right out from under us." She also questioned why anyone would want the team's supplies.
"What is anyone going to want with 12 massive robot batteries?" she said.
While the search was underway, the team was at a practice competition in Eden Prairie making do with the supplies available. The team will take inventory of items Monday before the FIRST Robotics regional competition in Duluth from March 4-7.
Last year the team took fourth place at the competition. In 2016, the Automatons went to nationals.