Small school becomes target of thieves, one arrested

Posted on: 3:09 pm, August 1, 2013, by , updated on: 04:22pm, August 1, 2013

SASAKWA, Okla. – Officials at an Oklahoma school are furious after thieves target the district at least four times in less than a year.

Security cameras were placed around the area where school buses fill up with gasoline.

However, those cameras didn’t deter thieves who took hundreds of gallons of fuel from Sasakwa Public Schools.

Officials saw the alleged thief stealing from the school’s gas supply three times in the last two weeks.

They handed the footage over to police, who quickly arrested 30-year-old Matthew Harjo.

Harjo is being held on a $30,000 bond.

While leaders at the school say they are glad he is behind bars, they stress that every theft sets the school back financially.

Kyle Wilson, Sasakwa Public Schools superintendent, said, “Now we’re in repair mode so we’re going to have to fix our tank, reinstall it from where it was taken off the supports. And again, it costs quite a bit of money to purchase 500 gallons worth of unleaded fuel.”

Authorities say Harjo wasn’t the only one allegedly targeting the school’s fuel supply.

In November, another man was spotted stealing gas.

Unfortunately, police have not arrested anyone for that crime.

Wilson said, “We’re irritated because essentially you’re stealing from the kids.”

He says they should have everything repaired and ready to go by the time school starts August 13.