WATSONVILLE—Pajaro Valley High School Athletic Director Joe Manfre made a sad discovery last week when he found that an important school van had been stolen.
The missing van is used to transport athletes to sporting events throughout the year, most recently to a football summer camp at Monterey Peninsula College. It is also used for special education students, and by maintenance staff for supply runs, Manfre says.
“It’s one of our only modes of transportation that gets kids off campus,” he says. “It’s how we get kids to games.”
The large, white 2017 Ford Econoline van is fairly distinctive, with the school’s bear mascot printed on the front, and “Pajaro Valley Grizzlies” on the side.
“I was kind of shocked,” Manfre said. “I’ve been at PV for 10 years and nothing like that has ever happened. Who’s going to take a van from a high school? It’s sad.”
Watsonville police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido says that officers took a report on June 27 and that the van was likely stolen sometime on Saturday or Sunday
The good news, says Pajaro Valley Unified School District Chief Business Officer Clint Rucker, is that the school was already planning to purchase a second transportation van and that insurance will cover the stolen one, if it is not recovered.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Watsonville Police Department at 471-1151.