LITTLE AXE, Okla.- A fireworks stand in Little Axe had over $1000 in inventory taken from kids who rely on the sales for fundraising.
“At first, of course, you’re angry. It hurt. You’re hurt by it. I was sad for my kids,” said Shandelle Self, Little Axe High School and Middle School cheer coach.
Self has been helping the Little Axe cheer team sell fireworks for 20 years now. But on the night before the 4th of July, she never expected anything like this to happen.
“My husband got up to open up the tent and he noticed that a couple things were missing and the more that he started looking, we noticed that there was a lot missing,” Self said.
A thief snuck into the fireworks tent off Highway 9 and Wildfire Drive in the middle of the night, stealing over a $1000 in inventory. All while Self and her husband slept just feet away.
“We stay here on site. Just the normal traffic is what we heard. We’ve been doing this for 20 years. So, you just kinda get used to the cars going in and out because it’s at a store, a gas station,” Self.
But it isn’t just any old fireworks stand that the burglar took from. The sales of the fireworks goes to the Little Axe cheer team.
“We wanted to raise money for our mirrors this year for the new facility. Extra mats. Maybe some lockers. Poms. This year we have 30 cheerleaders and we need some fill-in uniforms,” Self said.
The team even works shifts at the fireworks stand.
“There’s just so much stuff that we have to get and now we have to put in our own effort and our own money instead of being able to raise it like this,” said Glovanna Riggs, Little Axe senior.
While the team assumes the fireworks are long gone, they’re hoping the thief learns a lesson.
“At this point, I’m sure they’ve already popped those fireworks. It’s not like we’re going to get them back. It’s just sad. They need to know it’s sad. That’s sad that they feel the need to take from kids out here working,” Self said.
The stand plans to stay open through Saturday. They said they’re looking for ways to make their inventory more secure next year.