Arroyo Grande athletes face burglary charges

May 10, 2010

By KAREN VELIE

Arroyo Grande police last Friday asked the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s office to file criminal charges against six junior varsity baseball players and a junior varsity track team member at Arroyo Grande High School, who are suspected of participating in a string of burglaries.

Police filed a request that five of the students, all of them 10th graders, be charged with burglary, possession of stolen items and conspiracy. One of the remaining suspects faces charges of conspiracy and possession of stolen items and the last charges of conspiracy.

Sources tell CalCoastNews the students began their criminal spree at Arroyo Grande High School nearly three months ago. The athletes would sneak into their fellow students’ backpacks and then either keep or sell their booty through Craig’s List, sources said.

The thieves then started to ditch school in order to break into other students’ homes while the unsuspecting occupants were at work and school. The crime spree ended when a parent arrived home to find three of the alleged thieves actively involved in an alleged burglary, police said.

The students suspected of wrongdoing won’t be identified by CalCoastNews because they are minors.

Arroyo Grande High School Athletic Director Dwight MacDonald said the students were suspended from their teams for the rest of the season. Players were moved from other school sports teams so that the partially decimated baseball team could finish out the season.

The students were not only star athletes, but excellent student with some on the honor roll. Their parents include a school teacher and a police sergeant, CalCoastNews has learned.

None of the students had prior records of trouble.

Police Cmdr. Chuck Gerhart noted that the parents took responsibility for their childrens’ actions and returned most of the items that were taken from the five homes they burglarized.

“I was very pleased to see parents stepping up and taking responsibility and holding their children accountable,” Gerhart said. “Often I see parents try and explain away the behavior of their children.

“These parents stepped in right away and got the property back to its owners. What is probably going to happen is the district attorney will send notices to the parents to have children in court on this date.”


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18 Comments

  1. cheseburger says:

    ““These parents stepped in right away and got the property back to its owners. What is probably going to happen is the district attorney will send notices to the parents to have children in court on this date.”
    Children? Kid’s, I was a kid once and this is not the first time this crew has done this and a slap on the wrist ,(like always) is not what they deserve, they should be treated as adults, take a poll at the school to find out if they were children or kids or MEN breaking the law, we try 14 year old’s for murder all the time, this under 18 don’t due time crap has got to stop, if they were in my house, they could have been appropriately named Swiss cheese.

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • cheseburger says:

      I’ll leave you with this enlightenment, “Can good people,”or kids” do bad things???????????????????????????????????????//////////////////
      Answer. NO! there is no gray area! Jail time and probation until 25 years of age.

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
    • cheseburger says:

      I’ll leave you with this enlightenment, “Can good people,”or kids” do bad things???????????????????????????????????????//////////////////
      Answer. NO! there is no gray area! Jail time and probation until rehabilitated!

      (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
    • truetoblue says:

      “…and this is not the first time this crew has done this…”????? I beg to disagree. Proof???There is a definite “ring leader” and a couple of the kids were involved in only one of the burglaries. I know a couple of these families and they are good people and their kids are good kids. These families are owning this and taking very serious action (outside of the legal consequences) to deal with it. Did they have a serious lapse of judgement under peer pressure? Absolutely! locking them up until they are 25 is an absurd statement!

      (0) 10 Total Votes - 5 up - 5 down
      • cheseburger says:

        Did I say lock them up until twenty-five? You read to fast, reread the post. Jail time 4days probation until 25 or eighteen my exaggeration was not meant to be taken seriously but what would you do take away their toys until after dinner? And some people agree, see the plus three!

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
      • cheseburger says:

        “There is a definite “ring leader””, gee think he hasn’t done this before?

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
        • truetoblue says:

          My bad, i did read it too fast. I imagine the punishment will be as you have described…no problem with that. A “slap on the wrist” is as bad as being too harsh IMO. I still disagree with the “bad” label/conclusion from reading this short article. Again, these are some (I only know a couple of them) good families, they are devastated, embarrassed, pissed off, ashamed, you name it. They have been in this community for a long time and are well respected. 1 very stupid mistake=bad kid…I disagree. Not sure about the history of the “ring leader” but , I’m very confident about the few I am speaking of….

          (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
          • cheseburger says:

            Cool, you are good people, I always come off to strong, and if people own up, I am the first to forgive. Anyone who takes responsibility for their actions is much better then the ones who say where’s the proof? The one’s who don’t when caught with red on their hands, in my book should be dealt with accordingly. P.S. I am not referring to your simple mistake, how about two days of snoring, that they could survive! Probation until 18.

            (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
            • Cindy says:

              Two day’s of snoring isn’t enough to change their behavior. I would make them show up at the jail every weekend for the next few months. Home monitoring and not being allowed to miss school without a Doctors letter would also be terms of their probation. Give them a good taste of what it’s like to lose their freedom a little bit. For a 16 year old a few weekends in jail and 6 months of home detention (apart from school) would feel very harsh to them.
              They could also be required to do public service over the summer. If they complete that punishment maybe comes September they can be trusted again.

              (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
              • cheseburger says:

                Sounds like an excellent plea bargain too me.

                (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. dhgscw says:

    Let’s call it what it is and treat it that way. Breaking and entering someones home with the intent to steel is criminal activity. Bad behavior has consequences. No exceptions.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  3. Cindy says:

    I have no doubt that there is a leader Robert but these kids are all 15 & 16 years old. Certainly old enough to know how wrong it is to invade the homes of their school mates and make off with the belongings of their classmates families! What happens when the next leader comes along? I have a hard time believing that these are all bad kids (I know they aren’t), what doesn’t make sense is that so many from the same sports genre would all play follow the leader and do something that they know is so wrong! It’s baffling. If this had occurred with a group of troubled kids that had migrated towards each other it would make more sense. This incident would indicate that any group of good kids can be encouraged or at least it’s a 50/50 chance. I’d say this is a clear message of the times we are living in, where fraud is rampant, and a person’s word no longer has anything to do with his honor. Today’s youth are growing up without a conscientious or morals. The leaders are the adults and politicians and many of us are setting a very poor example. MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO.

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
    • cheseburger says:

      Maybe they learned from Gearhart and his pack of thieves, following the news is all they had to do and what really bothers me is, they will get a stiffer sentence because of lack of funds to pay off the high ranking officials, that with one phone call can make it all go away, or is that next.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  4. Robert1 says:

    Even good kids do bad things sometimes and most learn from it and move forward.
    If this is the first serious event in their young lives I would immediately pounce on the opportunity
    as the parent and help them learn from this.As a parent of 3, I believe you will find a leader in this group and many followers,cut the leader from the kids life and he will be back on track.

    (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
    • cheseburger says:

      “Cut the ring leader from the pack”, like divide and con-cor? Easier said then done, when you take something away from a kid it, just makes them want it all the more? Good luck though, stick them all in county jail for four days of snoring with 15 others and they will either go crazy or never steal it again.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. Cindy says:

    Psychologists generally say that kids who do things like this have serious psychological problems and require counseling. Yet how does that add up when you have half a junior varsity baseball team involved in the same criminal activity together? Do they all have psychological issues that cause them to act out in the same fashion? I’d say it’s more about peer pressure and maybe the excitement of not getting caught but then that does sound like they have a serious problem? That is out right anti social behavior! What is going on? Does this make any sense to anyone? Half the baseball team and a track runner? Geeezzzzz

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    It’s to bad that even when the parents seem to be doing everything right, you still can’t stop the pull sometimes of kids being lured into trouble. Guess that is a wakup call to the rest of us to stay involved with our kids and keep up on them and not to assume just because you are doing well in sports and academics, that you aren’t prone to trouble.

    Nice to hear that the parents did step up and there was no excuses for the behavior.

    (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down

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