WC athletes’ vehicles damaged

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 1, 2002

[03/01/02]Seven vehicles belonging to Warren Central baseball players were damaged or had items stolen from them Thursday, leading school officials to designate an alternate parking location for athletes while on out-of-town trips.

The school’s baseball team members, returning by bus about 9:30 p.m. from a game in Natchez, found their vehicles ransacked. Some were vandalized and five had items missing, said Mike Ouzts, Vicksburg Warren School District security director.

“On all out-of-town trips we will put players’ cars in an alternate location,” Ouzts said.

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The break-ins were under investigation, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

The baseball fieldhouse lot where the cars were parked is on school property behind Beechwood Elementary School and is not fenced in. The high school is across Mississippi 27 and gates into that area can be locked.

About the same time last year, seven baseball players’ vehicles were also broken into at Vicksburg High School while they were away for a game. It was Feb. 19, 2001, and those vehicles were behind a fence with a locked gate with barbed wire around the top, but the fence was apparently cut with wire cutters, Ouzts said.

A similar break-in also happened just a week ago when a baseball player’s truck parked at Vicksburg High School, also behind a locked gate in a fenced lot, was broken into, Ouzts said. Thursday night’s burglars broke windows on six of the vehicles and stole mainly stereo equipment and compact discs from the cars, Ouzts said.

Ouzts said Thursday’s burglaries were the first he knew of at Warren Central.