A thief probably had no idea that when he broke into a pickup on Thursday, he crushed the dreams of a young North Texas Olympic hopeful.
Dakotah Richards, 16, of Burleson, has spent the past year training in the sport of bunker trap shooting.
His $15,000, customized gun was stolen at about noon Thursday from the back of his father’s pickup, which was parked outside Anthony’s Place Mexican restaurant on Meacham Boulevard in North Fort Worth.
"They broke my window out right here," said John Richards, pointing to his back window. "His gun was laying right there."
The father and son were headed to a key national competition in Colorado in two weeks.
"This is my life," Dakotah said. "I've sacrificed a lot for this."
He said he doesn’t have time to train with a new gun -- even if he could afford one.
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"I can’t compete (without it)," he said. "Plain and simple, I can’t compete."
But the Richards said they hope the thief has a heart and will return the gun once he or she realizes its importance.
"I don't mean to get emotional about it, but he's worked hard," John Richards said. “What are we going to do?"
He’s offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the gun, a Perazzi MX8.
"I just want the gun back, no questions asked," Richards said.