AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron police are searching for a thief who stole an expensive trailer from Ellet High School on Woolf Avenue, to the tune of more than $10,000.
It happened around 8 a.m. on Sunday March 26.
Surveillance video captured the man casually pulling into the parking lot at the school and then taking the trailer.
“He took his time,” said Don Zesiger, director of security at Akron Public Schools. “He knew it was there, he came in with a purpose and was pretty brazen in broad daylight.”
The trailer, which is used to transport all of the marching bands instruments and gear to games, was locked, but that didn’t slow the thief down.
Video shows him using tools to cut the trailer free and then hauling it off with his pickup truck.
At one point, another person arrives to use the track, but even that didn’t deter the thief.
“They had to have some power tool. There’s no way just a handheld hacksaw was going to cut through this. It was a hardened steel hitch lock designed to keep someone from backing up, hooking up and taking off,” said Ellet High School Band Director Adam Grom.
The video doesn’t show the thief’s face, but it does clearly show the truck used to remove the trailer.
Investigators describe it as a “unique” two-tone brown, full size Ford F150 or F250 with “distinctive” rims.
The trailer license plate number is TTE8265.
Administrators, staff and students discovered it was missing Monday morning.
“I was shocked and disappointed because they’re stealing from kids,” said Grom.
The trailer was paid for by band boosters, donations and community fundraisers.
Officials say it was purchased in 2002 for over $6,000, but it would cost a lot more today to replace.
“I’d estimate $15,000 to $16,000 now to replace it,” said Zesiger.
Police are investigating and looking through additional surveillance videos.
Akron police is also asking for the public’s help and for people to call them if they see either the truck or the trailer.
“I’m hoping somebody’s going to recognize the truck and certainly recognize our trailer,” said Grom. “Of course we’d love to have the thing back.”