DELPHOS — After enduring the trauma of their charter bus crashing Monday, Delphos Jefferson High School seniors were traumatized again Wednesday when they discovered possessions and cash had been stolen from their luggage.
The students had their senior trip to New York City cut short at 5:45 a.m. Monday when the charter bus they were in swerved off the roadway on Interstate 80, destroyed a light post and went down a 40-foot embankment.
Delphos Jefferson High School Principal Chad Brinkman said the students’ possessions were returned to the school at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Everything seemed fine until children began claiming their luggage, he said.
“As they started going through their stuff, they noticed things missing,” Brinkman said.
Money was gone, but so were things like a blanket won as a prize and belongings inherited from family members. Also stolen were a set of headphones and other things like bras and lotion from women’s luggage, he said. Brinkman said some of the children had been saving money to take on the trip or had received it from grandparents and other family members. It was all important to them, he said.
The students had their money hidden in shoes, clothing and even in multiple different places, and yet it was all missing and the luggage had been neatly folded and put back into place, Brinkman said. It didn’t look like anyone ransacked the luggage but went through it carefully, looking for valuables, he said. The amount of money stolen from individual students ranged from $85 to $500.
“The unconscionable people who committed this crime need to be found and held accountable,” Brinkman said.
Brinkman said the only people who had access to the belongings from the day the accident occurred to when it was returned to the school Wednesday were representatives from the state police, the towing company and Childers Charter and Tour, Toledo, which returned the belongings to the school.
Brinkman contacted the state police about the missing items and an investigation is underway, he said.
“I’m working with them now to find those accountable,” he said.
The Milton station of the Pennsylvania State Police didn’t return a voicemail requesting more information concerning the investigation Thursday.
Under the advice of their insurance company, Childers Charter and Tour refused to comment.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362