Thief Strikes CCHS Swim Team

The Clarke County High School swim team’s practice was marred Thursday evening. Several of the team’s male swimmers emerged from the water only to learn that a thief had rummaged through their belongings before absconding with wallets, money and other valuables.

“All of the male members had their belongings gone through and multiple  valuables and money stolen while at practice in Strasburg,” said Jason Poteat, the father of a swim team member. “The theft was reported to the Strasburg police and the investigation is on-going.”

Because Clarke County does not have an indoor swimming facility, the CCHS swim team exhibits admirable dedication by making multiple bus trips each week after school to practice at the Signal Knob Recreation Center/Aquatic Facility near the intersection of US Route 66 and Route 11 in Strasburg, Virginia.

“Our kid’s personal stuff was stolen – I don’t have a list – but apparently the student belongings were not secured,” said CCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy. “Personal responsibility is an issue in an unsure world.”

Murphy said that CCPS staff called local police when the theft was discovered. A local police report was filed and parents of the swim team members who lost possession were contacted.

And, of course, the time spent reporting the incident to Strasburg police resulted in delaying the entire swim team from leaving the pool on-time and causing the transport bus to arrive back home late.

Murphy confirmed that Strasburg police are investigating the incident.

“This type of situation happens very seldom,” Dr. Murphy said “Unfortunately, it happened last night.”


  1. just interested says:

    What the heck does this mean? “Personal responsibility is an issue in an unsure world.” quote from Dr. Murphy. The kids were robbed. It is fairly hard to swim with a wallet in your back pocket. Maybe I am reading this quote all wrong but it appears to me that Dr. Murphy is placing the blame on these kids because their items were not in a secured place. Stealing something that does not belong to you is illegal. Secured or not.

    • I agree, his quote certainly appears that he blames the kids for not placing their belongings in a better location. Even if they could have used better judgement, the only person to blame is the person who took the belongings. Period.

      I certainly hope we are taking this comment out of context.

      • I believe Dr. Murphy is taking a guarded approach to this. He may not have personal knowledge of the availability of lockers at the facility, so rather than blaming the facility that could just turn around and revoke the CCHS Swim Team’s access, he’s staying on the fence.

        Bottom line, if the swim team had access to lockers and didn’t use them, shame on them. If there are not lockers made available to the team, shame on the facility. This is gonna be one sticky situation.

    • Fact Checker says:

      What is missing is the question: Did the swimmers even have the option of securing their belongings in a locker? If not, they had no choice but to trust in the security of the practice venue. To say that this was the result of a lack of personal reponsibility is a slap in the face of every student who trusts the school system to look out for them.

  2. Ivan Lambert says:

    “Personal responsibility is an issue in an unsure world.”

    Might it be more accurate to say,
    “Apparently coveting and stealing is an issue in a fallen, dark world”?

  3. Courtney Campbell says:

    I coach in Loudoun County and am always amused at the start of every season when our Athletic Director tells us this story. As coaches at LCHS, we are required to announce on the first day that when you put your stuff in your locker you MUST lock your locker in order for it to be safe. Evidently, a number of years ago an athlete had his stuff stolen from his locker. When they were questioning the person whose stuff was stolen he told them that he didn’t actually lock his locker. His father took the school to court and was able to make the County of Loudoun pay for his stuff because the coach didn’t ever tell the kids that they should lock their lockers.

    I am by no means encouraging someone to sue. This article just reminded me of a story that I find humorous.

    • onceandawhile says:

      “Personal responsibility is an issue in an unsure world.”

      Eduspeak for: “We’ve already paid for a broad personal liability policy for students this year through VSBA due to too much threatened litigation while in loco parentis AND since we can’t be responsible for the children’s safety, we most certainly can’t be responsible for their THINGS.”

  4. My sons track shoes were stolen last year in a similar situation. He left them on the bus by accident. We had just bought them 2 weeks prior. I showed up to the CC meet and he approached me stating that someone stole his shoes. Now at first I was like, where, who, what ??? !! He was an 8th grader ya know. Well long story short, it was not an accident.

    I went to the school bus transportation office and searched the bus, no shoes!! Spoke to the staff who also stated that they checked that morning, no shoes’s!! My sons are the first on the bus and just so happens that they are last off, so this seemed to intrigue me, where did they go…. with a little research and talking to the bus driver, the bus admin staff, the principals, and the resource officer, I was able to work with the school to determine that an extra route in one last neighborhood takes place before returning the bus back to transportation. Ahhh Haaa finally some answers for this 130.00 pair of shoes. The principal of the high school was great, he went on the bus and spoke to the students and then the next day I received a call letting me know to pick the shoes up. Now, this kid denied wearing them, however I know that he my son would not wear them again, so basically I was still out of the shoes !! However, we do live in a small town so this made things a little easier, and just because someone accidentally leaves something behind, gives you NO right to steal it. Either leave it or turn it in right away.

    I never did get that apology letter from that kid who cost me $130.00 !! However I just hope that he learned from his mistake, I am raising 3 boys myself and as a parent understand fully actions and consequences !! Good Luck CC Swim Team.

    • So your son refuses to wear a pair of $130 shoes just because someone else may or may not have worn them? Did whoever take them have some sort of communicable disease that a spritz of lysol wouldn’t take care of? If you feel strongly about it, tell the kid who took them in the first place that you want his parents to buy your son a new pair. That’s what I’d do.

      • Trish Fox says:

        It was last year, you people forget the point of the story, TEACH your kids that STEALING IS STEALING even if someone forgot something or lost it. TEACH them to do the right thing always. Like found Money, its not yours, turn it in !!!!

        • Fly on the wall says:

          No…the point is that you chimed in with a rather lame example that is in no way similar to the article. You’re the one who let her child dictate which shoes he’d wear (or not) merely because of the suggestion that someone else had them on his/her feet. Remove the 2×4 before you lecture others to remove a splinter…

        • Maybe the sneaker theft was part of “God’s plan” for your son?

          I’ll refresh your memory:

          Hey Right Winger ….I often wonder if I know you….if I did this is what I would say to you…
          If you can’t print your name prior to what you say then maybe you shouldn’t say it?? Ever thought about that?? You are very judgmental, you must be perfect.

          We as parents can only do the best we can, talking with your kids daily, giving direction, coaching, being a role model, teaching them right from wrong, and modeling the behavior we wish them to use to enjoy a healthy productive lifestyle is all we can do. As Fly mentioned above “Parenting is the key” we are not their buddies, providing beer and or any other substance to underage kids is illegal and fatal in this case. It is NOT the school systems duty to parent our children, the sick reality is that this was an accident. Amir obviously has some serious issues that go beyond this incident and I can only pray that he is in the right place to get help !!! Reminders are everywhere around us, my son reported to me that he caught a ride home from football on the back of a truck this week, while I am thankful that no one was hurt, the message my son learned is next time to walk. He stated that he was scared while riding, however if I was a parent at that school and saw a kid getting in the back of a truck, I would have immediately got out of my car and said NO, I could not in good conscious allow this to happen my kid or not. My son learned a valuable lesson, 1. not to ride in the back of a truck ever at a party/practice/hot/lazy/stupid or any other reason and 2. to learn from your mistakes daily and try not to make them again !!

          Reminder to everyone, we don’t know God’s plan, all we can do is try to be pro active and try to prevent accidents, but in the end God has a plan– like it or not !!!

    • Naked Truth says:

      Why don’t you sale them to the kid who wore them? He seemed to like them. You may not get the full $130.00 for them, but how much are you getting for them now? Just sayin’

  5. Midwesterner says:

    It’s pretty bizarre to read the comments people add to the bottom of these small town articles. It doesn’t take long for the alternative storyline to become much more emotional and offtrack than the original story. I agree, the Super’s comment as reported was a little odd given the circumstance — however, I’d bet when he made it he wasn’t fully aware of all facts of the matter….which those commenting previously are not either.

    I actually have some first hand info for you — the lockers our kids have to use at the pool in question have no locks. They are in a separate room from the swimming pool. Pool facility staff supposedly man the front desk and are supposed to monitor visitors. I think there is even closed-circuit video of the locker room, and all exercise areas. Why and how some clowns got in there and swiped our kids stuff is beyond me. Obviously, their parents didn’t teach them not to steal things that didn’t belong to them….and since our kids have been doing this up-and-down-I-81 routine for many years, I don’t think it is poor judgment on their part.

    And a final note — I think we’ll find that the school system is going to issue locks to the team — (even though it’s after the horse has left the barn) so the lockers can actually be locked from now on.

    • Just another example of how we (Clarke County) rely on another County to provide a service that we (Clarke County) should be providing! End of Story!

      P.S.–I am sorry that this incident had to happen to the kids!

      • Are you saying that we should build an indoor pool for the high school? How many single A high schools do you know of that have indoor pools?

        I also am very sorry that this happened. I remember how upsetting it was the three times that my children had something stolen from them at school.

        • Mimi Stein says:

          Even Loudoun County’s Rolls Royce high schools don’t include indoor pools. Loudoun County only proviides tax-payer financed indoor pools when the population hits the 100,000 threshhold. At 14,500 we are a far cry from that. Honestly, if you want urban or suburban amentities, you need to live in an urban or suburban environment and be willing to pay the $1+ property taxes that go along with it.

  6. (Not necessarily..but if the School Board could find funding for one…that would be great too!)

    P.S.– Strasburg High School doesn’t have an indoor pool either…but we’re still driving to Strasburg to swim. Just sayin….

  7. I would like to touch on some of the points and finger pointing that is going on here.

    Number 1 the whole track shoe reference to stealing was so far out there, that it is hard to understand where you could say the point of your story was to convey the message that “STEALING IS STEALING”

    You missed horribly and from the sound of it your kid is running all over you (no pun intended)

    I think you need to worry more about letting your child know who is boss, and what [redacted] shoes that you spent a ridiculous amount of money on they are going to wear.

    Number 2 Why cant we as parents and friends and human beings show some compassion without placing blame on the kids who have been making this trek 3 times a week, and devoting a large amount of there time and effort, along with there coaches. To succeed in an obviously unpopular sport in this area, so they can have something they can be proud of, other than the fact they can drive a tractor.

    Where is the human side of this, where is the, man this sucks and it is a horrible thing that has happened. Or even and please be ready for this one make sure you don’t have a mouthful of food or some type of beverage in your hand.

    Where is the what can I do to help, or even and now I know I am reaching. What can we do as a community to help? Instead of laying blame or assigning responsibility. What happened to these kids no matter what the circumstance is inexcusable and disgusting, and it is also something that as parents friends and family we should be showing compassion to, not saying I told you so or sucks to be you.

    Number 3 to comment on an indoor pool for the area. As most of you I am sure are not aware of, swimming is one of the most highly demanding, physically challenging, and cardiovascular demanding ways to exercise in the world. You work your entire body while swimming as well as building and improving your cardiovascualr system. When done correctly you get a whole body workout, that is more impactful and less damaging to your body than an hour on a treadmill. For seniors it is one of the best ways to get a cardio workout with less stress on there joints as they are supported by the water and they can do it more often for a better quality of life and a longer more active life.

    Not only would an indoor pool in Berryville, bring the CCHS swim team to a point where they could have an actual “HOME SWIM MEET” it could and would be a massive revenue builder for the area. There are a million activities and functions you can do at an indoor pool to recoup the money spent to build and maintain the facility, and to profit from it in a short period of time.

    So I know with my next comment I am going to light a fire, but it needs to be said.

    As the agriculture industry continues to become more and more privatized by large corporations, you need to ask the question. Would a pool that could bring revenue into the community and increase health awareness and provide fitness programs to people of all ages for a better tomorrow health wise, better serve the community, or would a fancy new greenhouse at the new high school be a better choice?

    I choose an indoor pool personally, but that is my opinion as a life long swimmer and advocate for aquatic sports and fitness, and a lifelong vegetable and meat eater who is happy to buy produce, meat and poultry locally to support my community.

    Thank you for your time.

    • The only problem with your comment is the greenhouse part. Other than that, I’m on board with you. The greenhouse would be used mainly by the school for classes. It’s being paid for with school funds.

      An indoor pool would be used by many people, but should not be paid for with school funds.

      If we had an indoor pool at the Rec center by the park across from the fairgrounds, I’d buy season passes for my whole family today.

    • Shoot4Life says:

      I enjoy target practice. But range is too far away. Clarke Co should build an indoor shooting range.

    • livein22611 says:

      An indoor pool would be a huge asset to Clarke County and should be built within the Parks and Rec. facilities to be managed by them. This should come from county money and not school system money. Clarke County needs to do something for the youth in this area and this would be a great start. There are lots of sports and outdoor things in the spring but having something available in the winter would be great. And it could be used all year long. What a wonderful benefit this would be for our senior population.
      So Clarke County Board of Supervisors—the conservation easements are nice but we’d like something for all residents to use.

      • Mimi Stein says:

        County money = School money and School money = County money. They all come from the same source. I, for one, would like to see some actual evidence that a pool would pay for itself (without the fees necessary to do so being beyond the means of most residents) or actually create revenue. What has been the experience of small localities (like Leesburg — although its population is probably more than double that of Clarke) that have done so, what are the fees they charge to residents versus outside groups and individuals, do they profit, break even, or require tax-payer subsidization. Rather than saying the County should or shouldn’t do something because it’s done in New England or we’re just sure it could generate revenue or it would increase taxes too much, I think some actual facts are needed. I know its easier just to throw out a gut response (I’m as guilty as any), but if people really want a pool get the data and then convince the rest of us (and, of course, the BOS) that its worth the extra whatever on the tax rate for the next however many years.

    • Fly on the wall says:

      Your snide, derisive slap of “prove that they can do more than drive a tractor” seriously undercuts your points, for you come across just as snarky as some others on here. As for having a pool here in the county…that would need to come from Parks & Rec. I agree that it would afford some much-needed opportunities for healthy classes, generate some revenue, and the like. But…to suggest building that at the park instead of a new greenhouse @ the new high school is just shortsighted and silly, and don’t fog the issue. Build the one (the greenhouse) and get the park to plan for the other (the indoor pool).

      Also…if one complains too much, the knee-jerk easy choice is to save the few thousands it costs for that team to even exist, and cancel the team. It would save a couple of coaching stipends, uniform costs, travel costs, etc.

      • Clarke County Swimmer says:

        I think that you fail to see another swimmer said, we have tons of homework and projects, and yes we took on swimming as our activity, so there are things that we must accept. The point is that the school would rather build two new basketball courts in the new highschool rather than an indoor pool, there would be plenty of room and if the school board steped up to the plate and cared about us a little more, well than you never know…

        After traveling to Bristal Va( which was done through our own funding…the school did absolutly nothing) I had the chance to see what a community that cared about swimming was able to do..and guess what, they too are a A1 school just like clarke. The point is that we are underfunded and ya, the community would be able to benifit as a whole from an indoor pool, you just have to care enough. Not everything is about farming and football. It is also not the Rec centers job to build a pool for the HIGH SCHOOLS SWIM TEAM they shouldnt have to pick up the coasts on what the school BOARD should pay for.

  8. just interested says:

    I would love to see an indoor pool at the Parks and Rec. I know this has been knocked around for years. Sadly, the cost is way beyond the means of our Parks and Rec. I too would buy a season pass asap.
    As for complaining too much about the swim team “Fly on the Wall” is correct. The team (which was hard fought for in the first place)will be cancelled. Coaches will be out of their stipend and swimmers will be shoved out the door. A lose lose situation for the people of Clarke County.
    Oh and I have lived here forever and never drove a tractor….just a bit of humor here.

  9. CC Swimmer says:

    Hey Fly on the wall. I just want you to know that the swimmers who make the trip to and from the school to Strasburg every night on top of homework and other activities would like to tell you to check your facts. The facts are that the swim team is one of the most underfunded of the programs at the High School, most of our money comes from either fundraising, parents, or donations from the Eagles athletic Association who recently gave us a grant for equipment that we never had. if you want to gain more funds cut the useless [redacted] team or the [redacted] team.

    Also the New High school sucks its too small for projected growth, has wasted space, it is also the biggest waste of money imaginable due to the school board being anti-progressive with the children’s education. Sure lets maintain the Horticulture class but cut science classes… that makes perfect sense in a world where farming is everything doesn’t it?! Sorry but this isn’t 1860 the world does not revolve around farming. As for schools who are single A and have there own pools… almost every school in New England has its own pool due to the harsh winters and it provides massive amounts of funds for the county and school system it inhabits.

    • Fly on the wall says:

      CC Swimmer, don’t get your Speedo in a bunch. We’re not in New England, and the shortcomings of the new school are well documented, so save the drama and don’t hijack the thread. None of the clubs or activities, and only a few sports, are really funded where they should be to allow them to really develop and do well…same with academic programs, the arts, and so forth. My point was that, if folks grouse too much about the drive, etc., the snap decision (not necessarily the right one) could be to end the run down to Strasburg. Yes, whacking “the useless [redacted] team or the [redacted] team” might save more money, perhaps, but they’re not the subject of this article.