By: Staff Writer Adele Shen
Several men dressed in white overalls stole boiler piping form the E-Wing roof and the roof over the stairs leading from the bell tower quad to the E-Wing on September 20. The thieves also flattened parts of the rain gutter running along the same area.
A witness claimed to see a white van and several official-looking men in their thirties and forties on that Saturday at dusk. This strategy of pretending to be maintenance workers has been used before at Fremont school sites, office buildings, and along Auto Mall Parkway. On Auto Mall the seemingly official thieves coned off a lane and removed the copper wire in the ground.
The boiler pipe takes hot water from the boilers and distributes it to the classroom heaters. Currently, no heat is available in the whole school. After speaking to Campus Supervisor Brandi Speier and School Resource Officer Gregory Pipp, necessary repairs could total between $20,000 and $30,000.
Since MSJ has copper piping extending throughout the school, precautions must be taken to discourage the thieves from returning. “Officer Pipp is working with FPD [Fremont Police Department] to see what we can do about having security cameras installed,” says Principal Zack Larsen. “We are considering all the implications of getting gates for the other parking lot entrances.” He is planning to block the road by the C-Wing by extending the gate closer to Mission Boulevard.
Larsen and Pipp warn that while these thieves appear to be officials, FUSD maintenance rarely works on weekends, and if it does, it will come in FUSD trucks. Any activity unrelated to FUSD should be reported to the police. If you have any information about this, or any other suspicious activity, Officer Pipp welcomes anonymous tips.