Football players’ perspective on theft at Manual-Eastern game

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The football players warm up with each other right before the game.

Jackson Hull

On Nov. 1, 2013, Manual football went up against Eastern High School in their final regular season game. The game was fairly routine until halftime when Manual players discovered that some of their belongings had been stolen. We interviewed three victims on Manual’s team, George Dailey (12), Tyler Wojciak (12), and Mark Allen (10), and got their reactions. For the full story, click here.

 

When did you all discover that a bunch of your belongings had been stolen?

 Tyler: Well, I lost my headphones at first. I thought that maybe I had just misplaced it or forgotten where I put it. Then word slowly got around that more people had stuff missing and we just put the pieces together and that’s how we initially found out that our stuff had been stolen.

 George: It was like a chain reaction, once someone found out that something of theirs was missing then other people began to check their bags and everybody started freaking out and checking to see what else had been stolen.

 Mark: I left my bag wide open with all our other stuff because I didn’t think anyone would steal anything but I found out some of my things had been stolen whenever everyone else started checking their bags.

 Were everyone’s bags and belongings scattered everywhere as if people were rummaging through them?

 Tyler: Everything looked pretty normal when we walked in there. I had my phone and wallet hidden away in my bag so that was safe, but I left my headphones under my bag so I guess they took those since they saw those first.

 George: All my stuff was out in the open just how I left it, even my phone. I wasn’t surprised that my phone wasn’t stolen because I was using my dads old flip phone at the time so they probably figured it wasn’t worth stealing.

 Mark: All my stuff appeared to be just how I left it, even though my phone was nowhere to be found. They really made an effort to cover up that they stole things and make it look like nothing happened.

 Are locker rooms at football games usually kept unlocked?

 Tyler: The Eastern coaches assured us that our stuff would be locked. They forgot we were even supposed to be there, so the basketball team was practicing where we were supposed to get ready and put our stuff.

 George: We didn’t even have a locker room to put our stuff so I think that was the main problem; all our stuff was just piled up around the sidelines of the basketball court.

 Mark: They guaranteed the safety of our stuff.  They even had like20 adults that were in the school so I’m still not quite sure how no one saw whoever stole our stuff and stopped them.

What actions did the players take when they found out their stuff had been stolen?

Tyler: When we came to the conclusion that our stuff had, in fact, been stolen, we immediately went to find some police officers that were stationed at the game. Unfortunately, policeman weren’t abundant. We eventually found two officers and told them what had happened.

 George: We told our coaches and they were pretty quick to address the situation. Also, Mr. Mayes was there and he really took charge in getting the whole situation figured out and getting our guys their stuff back.

 Mark: When we got a hold of the police officers they looked over the cameras and identified the thieves as Eastern students. They caught one of the thieves and then he ratted out the others so that’s how they all got caught.