SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Thousands of dollars of equipment was stolen from El Camino High School, putting school leaders in a race to get its shop program retooled before school starts next week.
The thieves struck early Tuesday morning in Arden Arcade, stealing six welders, four grinders, four drills, a hydraulic pipe bender—up to $25,000 in lost equipment.
“All the students are looking forward to working with heavy metals and the welding process and now were gonna be pushed back,” said shop teacher Ryan Tompkins.
Getting his classroom ready for the first day of school next week got harder for Tompkins. The shop teacher at school for the last eight years discovered the broken window, then realized it was a lot worse.
Once inside, the thieves opened a roll-up door for easy access. Security video shows the crime in progress.
Parents were shocked to hear about the theft and worried about the damage it could do to a program that gives students exposure to real life skills.
While the school has insurance, there’s no guarantee they will get back what they had. And what they do get back might not arrive for weeks.
“It’s not fair to me, but most of all it’s not fair to the kids,” Tompkins said.
The impact of the thefts reach beyond the shop class. A revolving stage for the drama department was in the works from the shop class, but now the project is on hold.
Investigators will take a closer look at the school surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of finding the suspects.