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Bleachers stolen from Apple Valley school

August 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Something very noticeable is missing from the athletic field at an Apple Valley school. Thieves took off with the bleachers at the Academy for Academic Excellence on Mana Road.

With school back in session, almost everything is in place. Teachers are ready to teach. Students are ready to study.

But as the softball team prepares for its fifth straight trip to the CIF playoffs, their field is missing something- aluminum bleachers, which were all stolen and presumably sold for scrap.

"It was kind of shocking," said senior Whisper Bentley. "Because I couldn't believe anybody would actually do that."

"I kind of giggled at bit, at first," said Junior Gabi Bonato. "Because who steals bleachers?"

But it's not a laughing matter, especially with how much it could cost to replace the seats.

"We figure it's about $6,000," said principal Gordon Soholt. "For a small school $6,000 is a lot of money, so we'll need to fundraise to get this to happen again."

There are a number of video surveillance cameras here at the school, but there's one problem. They're about 50 to 60 yards away from where the benches were stolen at the softball field, so it's unknown just how useful that video will be.

"We haven't been able to go back because it happened approximately four weeks ago," said Soholt. "So that's a lot of tape for us to view. But we will be looking at it all, and turning it over to the sheriff's department if it's usable."

Meantime, school goes on. Classes continue, and the softball team is still gearing up for the season.

If you have information on who did this, or if you know anything about someone trying to sell aluminum benches for scrap, call the Apple Valley Sheriff's Station at 760-240-7400.

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