Crime

Woman allegedly wanders around Kauffman Stadium for a day, sets small fires

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Police arrested a woman Wednesday morning after she allegedly wandered around Kauffman Stadium for nearly a day and set several small fires.

Police arrested Bridget L. DePriest, 36, on the southeast side of the stadium and took her to the East Patrol station, where she was booked and issued summons for trespassing and openly burning resulting in property damage.

Kansas City police responded to the stadium about 5 a.m. on a medical call after security found a woman wandering around the stadium..

A stadium security officer told police that he found DePriest about 4:30 a.m. after he noticed her on the field with a flashlight.

She told security that she had been in the stadium since she entered through a gate on the southeast side about 8 a.m. Tuesday. While there, she walked the field and the stadium.

The security officer said he noticed what appeared to be trash and a trash bag on the field. He told her to get it and leave. After she collected the items and put them in a bag, she left them by the south side of the dugout, police said.

As she left the stadium, security called police.

The security officer said he'd have to check surveillance video to determine how long she had been in the stadium. While checking out where debris had been left on the field, police discovered that three small fires had been set, causing burn marks in the grass.

While canvassing the parking lots, police found DePriest on the southeast side of the stadium near a vehicle gate.

"There's no indication that she was in the building for as long as she supposedly told police," said Toby Cook, Royals' vice president of publicity. "The only time we have seen her on surveillance video has been after dark."

They believe the woman came in some time over night.

"The damage to the field was so minimal that you can't see it," Cook said. "It ended up being two or three singe marks that you can't see from the stands."

Fans won't be able to see any evidence of fires when the team returns into town Tuesday. If repairs are needed, they will be made within a day, Cook said.

Vendors typically visit the stadium frequently to stock and fill concession and bathroom supplies, but they are credentialed and staffed by a Royals person. Also there are cleaning crews that work when the team goes out of own.

"We don't know if she came in when something like that was going on when multiple people were coming in to stock or whether she climbed the fence," Cook said. "That's what we're trying to determine."

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb
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