PHOENIX, Arizona – A thief who broke into three storage sheds at an Arizona high school wiped out all of their expensive sports equipment and tools, but he also left a note apologizing and explaining why they committed the crime.
Adrian Espana, community coordinator and athletic director of the Western School of Science and Technology in Phoenix, said the break-ins took place during their winter vacation.
Espana was with a group of athletes on Saturday morning to clean up the mess and take inventory of missing items.
âThey cleaned us up for sure,â Espana said.
He said all sports on campus were affected by the heist.
“Soccer balls, baseballs, volleyballs, all of our baseball gear, some of our physical education equipment, soccer cleats, Under Armor, jerseys, running shoes – they’re all gone. I know. that the football team and the baseball team are worried about having equipment for the season because it starts in a month, âEspana said.
Another storage shed containing bins full of tools was also broken into. There were only empty trash cans, a few pairs of glasses and a pair of work gloves.
Espana said she found a note from the thief on the floor near the hangar.
The note read: “Hello Director, please forgive me for taking what is not mine! I cannot let my little sister go hungry because of my fault!”
The apologies and explanations did not please the athletes and staff.
âYou don’t have to steal other people’s things that we’ve worked hard for,â said Adan Zapien, a high school student and public charter school football player.
“They were apologizing for taking the stuff, but they taking the school stuff, it’s not really taking the school. It’s taking the students,” Espana said.
He explained that the students had worked very hard to earn money to buy some of the sports equipment.
âIt’s very disappointing. The things we worked for came from grants that we wrote, part of it was given to us. Fundraising they could to raise money for our sports program,â Espana said.
The school has surveillance cameras. Espana said Phoenix Police have been notified and will be coming to review the footage next week.
Espana said if anyone wanted to help with donations to replace lost items, they could contact reception during normal school hours during the week. Their phone number is (623) 249-3900.