January 16, 2014

Turlock High lawn equipment replaced after theft

Money and used equipment, plus a big donation by a local hardware store, has Turlock High’s turf management class back on the field after its mowers and other necessities were stolen over winter break.

Thieves halted Turlock High School’s turf management work last week, but donors have stepped forward with dollars and used equipment to get the class back on track, Principal Marie Peterson said.

“Orchard Supply Hardware donated approximately $2,000 worth of lawn equipment through their Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to replace our stolen turf grass management equipment,” Peterson said. “We’ve also had some folks donate money and used lawn equipment.”

The school has placed orders for the last of the replacement equipment and is no longer seeking donations, she said.

“We feel very fortunate to have great community support for our students and agriculture program,” Peterson said.

The theft – estimated at $15,000 – of mowers, edgers and other equipment was discovered as school started after winter break. The vocational class, made up of a mix of regular and special education students, was expecting to start work on the campus baseball fields. Much of the money to buy the equipment that was stolen also came from community donations.

Thieves broke into a storage container where ag course materials are kept, just as fences were being erected to better secure the area because of earlier break-ins.

“We are working closely with the district to improve security in this area with additional lighting, fencing, and an upgraded camera system,” Peterson said.

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