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Students steal, sell school sports gear

Date Posted: 2008-12-05

The Okinawa University baseball program is in limbo, and four university students under arrest after police found school athletic equipment being sold on an internet auction site.

The four, all students at Okinawa University in Naha City, were arrested by Urasoe City Police after uncovering their theft of school property and selling it on the internet site. The investigation revealed the four were stealing equipment and uniforms from not only the university, but also from three high schools. Police say one of the four arrested was the ringleader, and that he had many students helping steal the equipment.

There were at least three groups doing the stealing, police say, with only the ringleader knowing the identities of all involved. “What a foolish scandal this is,” says the Okinawa University president. “”I just can’t believe that they are my students.” Kunitoshi Sakurai says he “feels so sorry our educational values are not strict enough. We have to teach students more.”

The director of the University baseball program, who also coaches the squad, has resigned his teaching position. The university president has shut down the entire baseball program for now. The coach says “students who stole the equipment were just ordinary students, but they were troubled students, too. We thought they were enjoying university life, and they’d been selected to the team.” The coach says he can’t understand why the students would steal from the school, and then sell the goods.

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