Visiting Somerset team is victim of high school locker room thefts

— Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) and Oak Bluffs police are investigating the locker room theft of money and personal items from the visiting Somerset Berkley junior varsity football team on Monday afternoon, October 17.

Oak Bluffs Police Sergeant Mike Marchand told The Times that cash taken from various individuals that totaled approximately $180 and a pair of sneakers was taken from the locker room where Somerset players changed while the teams were on the field.

Based on the high school’s investigation Sergeant Marchand said that police planned to apply to the court for charges against the young man they said stole the sneakers. “We know who did that, we have a confession,” Mr. Marchand said.

The Oak Bluffs sergeant would not identify the young man pending court action but confirmed he is a high school senior. No money has been recovered yet.

Sergeant Marchand said the incident is unfortunate for the athletes, the school and the Island. “Our school has an obligation to keep the other team’s property safe while they are out playing,” Mr. Marchand said. “When items go missing I think it is embarrassing for the school and it is embarrassing for our community.”

High school athletics director Mark McCarthy told The Times that the school and the Oak Bluffs police are conducting an ongoing investigation. Some of the items have been recovered and returned to Somerset Berkley, he said.

Mr. McCarthy said the high school regretted the thefts and that the school will do what it can to recover the remainder of the items. “It’s very embarrassing to the school and we’ve apologized to Somerset Berkley,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“This was an unfortunate occurrence and an isolated incident that is not what our school is about,” MVRHS principal Stephen Nixon said. “We have a good group of kids here and we don’t want this to tarnish all of them. We’re working with the Oak Bluffs Police in trying to come to a positive resolution.”

MVRHS and Somerset Berkley are both members of the Eastern Athletic Conference. “Obviously, it’s not how we want to be portrayed to the league and to other schools that are visiting us,” Mr. McCarthy said.

For the past two years, the EAC has elected MVRHS to represent the league for the District D sportsmanship award. “This is a very difficult thing for us to go through and we don’t want this to be repeated,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Sergeant Marchand urged anyone with information to contact Oak Bluffs Police at 508-693-0750.