Police investigating $20K theft from Waipahu High football team

Police investigating $20K theft from Waipahu High football team

WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some $20,000 has been stolen from Waipahu High School's football team.

The money was raised during a recent athletic fundraiser, and was to be used for several upcoming events.

The state Department of Education said the junior varsity and varsity football teams were raising money for a banquet as well as other team costs.

"That's messed up, especially from a school," said junior Chayenne Kuamoo. "I mean I would be hurt if I got money stolen from me even if it was a dollar. But $20,000?!."

Joshua Valdez, also a junior, said the thief or thieves should return the money.

"Think about us students," he said. "If you want our future to be better for us, think about how we would feel. So have sympathy, please."

Policeay the crime happened some time between Saturday and Wednesday, while school was out for fall break.

Police sources say an employee noticed about $20,000 in cash and checks were missing late Wednesday night.

They say the money was stashed away in an office, located inside the boy's locker room on campus. They also say there were no signs of forced entry; about a dozen people have access to the room, sources said.

Valdez, the junior, said the theft hits hard.

"We have good teachers here to dedicate us to become better people in the future," he said. "I think that $20,000 being stolen from us, that our football team worked hard for, I think it's a catastrophe for us because we're working just to become a great school."

School Principal Keith Hayashi declined an interview, but said school officials are fully cooperating with HPD.

On Thursday, parents were notified of the theft with a letter home and asked to issue a stop payment for any checks written for a recent fundraiser.

There is one silver lining in the story.

Bryson Shimomura, senior and a wide receiver on the team, said head Coach Bryson Carvalho has told the team not to worry about covering the costs of upcoming events.

"He spent his own money to pay for the theft," he said. "I feel like what coach did is pretty inspiring. I think he really sacrificed a lot for us and it means a lot and he honestly deserves coach of the year."

HPD said there have been no arrests in the case. There are also no surveillance cameras in that area on campus.

Anyone with information is asked to call Honolulu police.

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