By Lea Gamboa

Starting from the beginning of the school year, thefts within and outside the P.E. locker rooms have been affecting the many students and athletes of Bonita Vista High School.Theft is a common activity found in almost anywhere and can be conducted by anyone of any background. Bonita Vista High School has been experiencing school related thefts with the P.E. Department.

“[Thefts have been] happening since I’ve been here, [and it’s] always the same reason,” said  P.E. coach Jason Murphy.

Reported items such as athletic shoes, iPhones, iPods and money have been stolen within the locker room area. Near the wrestling room, people have also experienced stolen items. The chance of stolen items are reported in this area more often mainly because the athletic bags are not being supervised or protected by their respective owners.

P.E. teachers have often advised students about securing their items and to lock their things within their respective lockers. These warnings are reminded to the students, but from the neglect of students, items continue to be stolen. Stolen items in the locker rooms are usually due to items lying around, or in some cases, a locker being busted open.

“People [are] being forgetful, [and] leaving their stuff outside”  P.E. coach Heidi Arciaga.

The majority of school thefts are reported within the boys locker room and by the end of school. After school, the locker rooms are left open by coaches and items are not protected. It is the responsibility of the teams and students to assure their supplies are in a safe area.

Parents and students have been reporting to P.E. coaches and assistant principal, Mr. Fernando Delgado. There are no leads as to who is stealing from the locker rooms. Punishments can range from a three day suspension to enforcement of arrest by school resource officers.

There have also been reports of items being returned or found. Within the girls locker room, two or three times a week, someone reports a found item. When items are returned, they are usually returned in a good condition.

“People do return things because not everyone is a thief,” said Murphy.

In order to prevent anymore thefts within the school, communication will continue between coaches and students. Coaches during P.E. periods will ensure doors are being locked to prevent anyone from entering the lockers. Coaches such as Arciaga have began raising awareness by creating signs by the girls’ locker room, in order to alert students of the chances of getting their items stolen.

Within the school, the amount of thefts have risen and multiple thefts can happen within the same day. While students enter their P.E. classes believing their items are secure, students will report after class to find their items stolen or missing.

“In the weight room, 3 people had their phones stolen in the same day,” senior Luis Carson said.

When in practice, athletes and cheerleaders can find their phones or athletic shoes are told to be stolen. Cheerleader Gaby Hernandez has had her phone stolen once before during a routine cheer practice. Anyone can be a victim of getting their phones, sports equipment or other personal belongings stolen and are advised to better watch and care for their possessions.

Precautions have been taken to help stop the robberies. Thefts are not meant to be messed with and should be prevented by both students and their coaches. Athletes are advised to carry their equipment at all times and not to be left unattended.