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Expensive Agricultural Equipment Stolen During Break-In At Turlock School

TURLOCK (CBS13) - Pricey agriculture equipment was stolen from a school in Turlock. And this isn't the first time the school has been broken into. Now students and instructors are making sure it doesn't happen again.

During the latest theft, someone broke into a storage shed and swiped $5,000 worth of school equipment.

Students are now hard at work over the Thanksgiving break building a metal fence by hand. It's a move they hope will keep thieves from stealing the Turlock High Agricultural Department's pricey equipment.

"We are putting up a fence so they can't drive in," said Trey Smith, a student. "It's going to slow them down if they start to steal stuff"

Earlier this week, someone stole 20 small engines, tool boxes and copper wire from a pair of trailers. The crooks also vandalized a student project.

Department chair Chad Russell says gathering students to lend a hand on fence building day was easy.

"They know if we don't have the tools and equipment needed to do what we are supposed to do, they are going to miss out," said Russell.

Agricultural courses taught at the school are gaining popularity. The school saw a 70 percent jump in enrollment this year. But break-ins are becoming popular too. There have been at least three this year.

The school will be forced to put the brakes on one class unless they can replace what thieves stole.

"Without these engines, the class will not be taught. Kids aren't going to leave with that skill and it's very disappointing," said Marie Peterson, principal.

The school has security cameras and is looking to upgrade the system as soon as funds are made available.

The school is accepting donations to replace the stolen items. Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward.

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