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'I'm going to steal these kids' medals and leave a rude note,' thief decides

Hundreds of medals were gone, and a note with a racial slur was left.

Somebody apparently decided that not only would it be a good idea to steal hundreds of medals from a youth soccer tournament, but that a note with a racial slur would also be worth leaving.

This happened at the Runnin’ with the Wolves soccer tournament at Kingston Park over the weekend, Cottage Grove police said in a release.

Organizers had more than 500 medals at the park after setting up Friday, and left them there in a tent. When they came back Saturday, the medals were gone. All together they're worth about $2,100, police said.

The thief also left a note with a racial slur. What exactly it said wasn't revealed by police.

City Councilor La Rae Mills called it "really terrible and sad."

Authorities though are hoping anyone with information will help them find out who's responsible. There's a $250 reward, and you can call Washington County Dispatch at 651-439-9381 with tips. Police are also looking over surveillance footage.

Not that the organizers were deterred.

"THANK YOU players, coaches, parents and families for an awesome and successful weekend!" Cottage Grove United Soccer Club wrote.

Advocacy groups such as the Anti-Defamation League have noted an increase in racist or violent incidents since the 2016 election.

And NBC News reported a study from California State University found hate crimes rose 20 percent last year across nine major metro areas. (Minnesota cities were not included in the list.) They attributed it specifically to the inflammatory presidential campaign.

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