Though often unreported, locker rooms susceptible to theft

Student-athletes leave sports bags, like these ones, outside of lockers during most Carmel home games. photo by QUINN SPOONER

BY GABE MARTIN

Locker room theft at Carmel High School affects multiple students every year, especially those who rely on their lockers during after school sports and other activities.

CHS assistant principal Craig Tuana says that last year there were four reported incidents of locker room theft. Most of the reports involved stolen money from bags in the locker rooms after school during sports practices and games. Tuana encourages students to report the incidents to him or another form of authority.

“I’m sure it happens often, but I only had four reports of it last year,” Tuana says.

Senior Abelardo Ramirez is one of the student-athletes affected by locker room theft. Ramirez has been wrestling since middle school and has always tried his best to lock his backpack and personal items in his locker. During a wrestling practice junior year, he forgot to lock his locker.

When he came back from his intensive practice in the school gym, he was furious and confused after noticing he had $150 stolen from his wallet.

“I felt pissed off,” Ramirez exclaims. “Whoever stole my money took the time to open my locker, search through my backpack, find my wallet and take my money.”

The varsity wrestler appreciates his ability to safely go to school and participate in the sport he loves. Keeping this in mind, he says he does not want to see the school’s safety and reputation tarnished because of students taking advantage of others’ absences.

The CHS senior understands that security options like cameras and constant monitoring are out of the question, but wants some kind of security for future students.

Thefts have not only affected winter wrestlers like Ramirez, but also student-athletes who play sports ranging from football in the fall to swimming and diving in the spring.

Carmel High senior David Huh became frustrated with the locker room security after returning to the lockers following a 2017 lacrosse game to find $120 stolen from his bag. To Huh’s surprise, some of his teammates shared his anger when realizing they too had things stolen from their bags. Huh and his teammates never reported the theft to Tuana or any authority on campus.

“You’re always reminding your guys to lock their stuff in their locker,” CHS athletic director Golden Anderson says. “After school, it’s not that the locker rooms are left open, but it’s more that there are a lot of people that use the locker room. It isn’t only our team, but when we host games, teams from other schools use our locker rooms.”

Anderson is also the head coach of varsity football and is a strong believer in locking gear and other items in the lockers during after school activities. Anderson doesn’t see locking the locker room doors during sport practices as an option, though, due to the variety of sports schedules taking place after school.

“[With] football, it’s pretty easy because you stay in the locker room with your team and then you go out and close the door,” Anderson says. “In basketball, it seems that coaches for our team and other teams need to go in and out of the locker rooms. There’s just so many people using the locker rooms at different times.”