Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Hayden Hayden High School sophomore Adam Akers walked into school Monday morning to an unfamiliar sight. Instead of a hallway neat and tidy from weekend cleaning, he found a corridor strewn with class notes and school supplies, flanked by open locker doors.
About 100 lockers were opened Sunday afternoon, and items were stolen from about 20 of those lockers, Hayden Police Chief Jody Lenahan said. Three children between the ages of 10 and 12 are suspected.
When Akers heard that items had been stolen, he checked the contents of his locker to see if everything was there. It wasn't.
He was missing pens, pencils and a calculator. The adjacent lockers on his right and left also had been burglarized.
"I was pretty angry," Akers said. "I was thinking, 'Why would anybody do something like this?'"
School items such as pens, pencils and calculators made up most of the stolen goods, but several items with higher value also were taken, including a couple of portable CD players, CDs, sunglasses, perfume and $10 in cash, Lenahan said.
The lockers weren't broken or damaged in any way. The lockers that contained the stolen items were unlocked, Lenahan said.
"The only ones that have locks are the empty ones, because kids throw trash in them," Lenahan said.
Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer was the first to walk in the building about 7 a.m. Monday. About 80 percent of the lockers in the sophomore and freshman hall were open, he said. Schafer immediately called the police, and when classes began, he instructed students to make individual lists of missing items.
A piano recital was held at 3 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium, in which 17 children gave recitals.
Piano instructor Lorraine Morrison was working at the recital, accompanied by her 11-year-old nephew. Morrison said her nephew heard a noise around the corner, looked and saw three children going through lockers. He came back and told her, but she was busy with the recital and paid no attention, she said.
"When I heard they were just little kids, I thought they were just playing," Morrison said.
Morrison then talked to the police, and said there were three children who were seen by other parents at the school that afternoon. The children were asked to leave the school more than once, she said.
Two boys and one girl between the ages of 10 and 12 are suspects in the locker robberies, and Hayden Police have learned the names of all three. All live in Hayden, Lenahan said.
The matter is under investigation.
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