Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Thieves make off with prizes for Armijo’s Sober Grad Night

Armijo Grad Night Storage Shed Theft

Scott Russell, left, and Audrey Jacques, right, sort through supplies in an Armijo Sober Grad Night storage shed Monday, after it became apparent that some prizes had been stolen. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A5 | January 01, 2014 | 14 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Armijo High School’s Sober Grad Night committee was dealt a blow over the weekend as the six storage sheds used by the group were burglarized.

On Monday afternoon, Scott and Lori Russell, who have worked with Sober Grad for more than a decade, and Audrey Jacques, Sober Grad Night co-chairwoman, surveyed the damage in the hardest-hit shed.

Burglars left it a mess, in addition to stealing about $2,000 in prizes that ranged from electronics to desk lamps. Also gone were a cotton candy machine, microwave and toaster oven used at the event.

The committee usually gives out about $5,000 worth of prizes on Sober Grad Nite.

Other outbuildings at the school were also ransacked.

“These buildings have been in the parking lot for 20 years,” said Lori Russell. “We never had a problem before.”

The buildings were moved by the new library as construction is underway in the parking lot on the new administration building.

The Russells’ last child graduated from Armijo in 2012. They stay involved with Sober Grad Night because they feel its worthwhile.

Lori Russell had just finished shopping for student prizes before the holiday break. The Russells had planned to stop by over the weekend to take some of the items home and catalog them.

“It brings tears to your eyes,” Jacques said, while cleaning up the shed with Scott Russell. “When you see it, you don’t have words for it.”

There was one small bright spot: Jacques discovered a purse she had let someone borrow at Sober Grad night. It had been left behind with a few other items, such as bottled water and a bag of pennies.

Lori Russell said she had visited the sheds earlier in December. At the time, she left six rolls of vinyl used to cover the gym walls. They were all gone.

“What will they do with the vinyl?” she asked rhetorically.

New locks will be installed and the committee will face the task of restocking. “The biggest thing is getting the prizes together,” Scott Russell said.

Community members wishing to help the Armijo Sober Grad Night committee can call the Russells at 580-0701 or email them at rus5@sbcglobal.net Jacques can be reached at 695-9178 or aajacques@sbcglobal.net.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
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Discussion | 14 comments

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  • My2centsDecember 31, 2013 - 4:58 am

    Here we are again with another story of a group that does fund raisers and solicits donations inadequately securing thousands of dollars worth of prizes in a flimsy out shed. Given that the group has used the sheds for years, presumably everyone knows where these prizes have been stored. Each of these recent stories has had the same disturbing similarity of poor security and widely known information about the location of donations. These are desperate economic times for hard working Americans who are kind enough to donate time and money to help others. They are even more desperate times for criminals and drug addicts. Groups that rely on donations have an obligation to safely secure them and to be accountable for disappearing donations. These repeated stories of lax securing of donations really makes me reluctant to donate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rita GoldenDecember 31, 2013 - 5:06 am

    I agree. It sure sounds a bit "fishy" when it keeps happening. Makes you wonder. hmmm?

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  • S KDecember 31, 2013 - 6:39 am

    I agree with the fishy smell. I'd bet a Dollar to donuts (CD You know where I'd buy those donuts) that it involves someone (Teens probably) from Armijo, either that or some homeless in the area. I am not Columbo or Adrian Monk, but I'd surely be investigating whomever had borrowed THAT PURSE.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BobbyGJanuary 01, 2014 - 6:30 am

    I don't read that my2cents doesn't support sober grad night or other charities CD? (You are always so quick to turn discussions into personal attacks.) If Anyone donates to a cause they deserve to know their donation will get to those in need. All the commentor is saying, and I totally agree, is that the charities out there need to lock donations down in a way where they won't get ripped off. It's the least that the givers have a right to expect.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 01, 2014 - 6:57 am

    BobbyG, you must be new here? You misinterpreted my comment. and no, l do not turn everything into a personal attack.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 31, 2013 - 6:09 am

    Sorry, but I blame the theives.

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  • CD BrooksDecember 31, 2013 - 6:15 am

    I cannot imagine the feelings these folks must be having knowing the cynics among us will be complaining about recent burglaries and security issues. Sober Grad Night is a wonderful program and it is a shame they had to take such a hit. We decided to go a new direction this year with our donations. I may have to reconsider here, it isn't like a pantry that people support so generously. And it is a really good event.

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  • justsomeguyDecember 31, 2013 - 6:54 am

    It saddens me that the majority of comments focus on not secure enough donations and hint at the possibility of inside job. stuff locked in a big giant box needs to be more secure? should they have put an alarm, hired a security guard or wait, maybe a guard dog! come on people! the focus should be on finding who did this and getting money/donations back to the organization.I'm sure someone in town knows who did it but isn't going to speak up,cowards.karma can be a b!t#h.

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  • RobDecember 31, 2013 - 8:28 am

    Does it bother anyone that the editor at the DR allowed a mis-spelled word to appear in the article? Did anyone else notice? "six roles of vinyl"? Did the thieves make it so the role of vinyl is no longer to cover the floor, but to do something else, like move up in life and become bus seats...or did they steal the rolls of vinyl? Or...what were the other five roles of vinyl??? Happy New Year everyone! Rob

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  • Amy Maginnis-HoneyDecember 31, 2013 - 9:42 am

    Rob, Thanks for the catch. I’ve updated it with the correct version of rolls.

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  • RobDecember 31, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    Thank you, Happy New Year.

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  • IanDecember 31, 2013 - 9:30 am

    As a grad from Armijo and a part of the class who held the first grad night this saddens me. Some of my best memories are from that event. I hope the responsible parties are found and the merchandise is returned.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Cold TurkeyDecember 31, 2013 - 11:08 am

    You find the Turkeys... you will find the toaster oven. I think this is a very different situation from the ever-changing Turkey Fiasco, that was dropped like a fishy hot potato by the Daily Republic and local police. (how is that investigation going by the way) This is a great program that needs some help right now... Live and learn, better locks or a different location next year.

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  • LilDecember 31, 2013 - 11:33 am

    Yeah, how is that investigation going? Any word on what happened with the dozens of turkeys stolen? How they transported them? How they disposed of them? A follow-up with the police on what his happening with some of these cases would be great.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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