RIPON -- Many in Ripon were in disbelief after a man who neighbors say was active in their community was arrested for embezzling money from a youth sports league.
"Hopefully he didn't do it. I really liked the guy," said Bob Freeman.
Ripon police arrested Freeman's former neighbor Dale Keith, president of the Ripon Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball League, Wednesday after a thorough, monthslong investigation.
"There's a lot of money involved in sports," Freeman said. "It happens all the time in youth sports, in youth charities, in youth things. They don't track the books well enough and some guys get away with stealing the money."
That wasn't the case this time. The league's executive board first became suspicious after noticing money missing from its operation's account.
They then notified the police.
Investigators say over the last year and a half several thousand dollars was stolen from the youth league.
News of Keith's arrest shocked those that know him and left parents and the community asking why.
"It's a tremendous sports town, so I'm sure it's a disappointment," said a Ripon resident.