Students report locker room theft

Guy Burstein

(Dec. 22, 2010) — On Nov. 22, after another long period of running and lifting weights, sophomore Christian Sahar returned to his locker to change. Upon returning, however, Sahar was shocked to find that his locker had been broken into and his iPhone 4 stolen. “It was a pretty expensive phone,” he said. “It was a shock to see it missing.” On that day, Sahar was not the only person to have his electronics stolen. According to P.E. teacher Chris Axelgard, by the end of the day, five other students had their belongings stolen, varying from money to iPods. For many victims, thefts like these put a damper on upcoming events. “I am most likely going to get a new one instead of a Christmas gift,” said sophomore Alexander Siaki, referring to his stolen fourth-generation iPod touch. According to a study done at Villanova University, the thievery is usually carried out before holiday breaks. This is problematic because students can sell or give away the stolen items before school resumes, and the chance of successful recovery of stolen products falls dramatically. “This is the reason why we tell people not to bring these items to school,” assistant principal Kristina Provost said. Acording to her, even though school rules do allow for off-switched electronics to be brought to school, there is no reason to do so and bringing them only facilitates theft. On the other hand, some students manage to take situations in which they have their belongings stolen, and put them in a positive light. “My parents think it’s a life lesson to me, that I should be more careful with my belongings,” Sahar said. “My parents will most likely make me get a new phone by myself. It will probably not be as advanced because I have a tight budget.” Until now, Clark has mostly managed to stay free of the theft problems found in neighboring schools around Glendale. Axelgard said that since Clark has been founded, this is the first time that theft of this scale has occurred. “Having been here since the second year, this is the first time something like this has happened, so until now we’ve been doing a pretty good job.” A recent study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics said that approximately 30 percent of high school students admitted to stealing from their classmates. Few of these thefts are reported. In addition, for most incidents, little can be done about those that are reported. However, in this case, Axelgard maintained that every action possible had been taken, including reiterating the school rules, watching security camera footage and interviewing the victims. “We’ve done everything that we can. Now it relies on the decency and honesty of the students,” Axelgard said.