Niagara Gazette

April 6, 2013

Newfane High School baseball players punished for stealing on trip

Staff Reports
Channel 4 News

— Members of the Newfane High School varsity baseball team were sentenced to do community service by a judge in Myrtle Beach, S.C. after shoplifting items from a store.

Newfane Central School Superintendent Christine Tibbits says seven members of the team were arrested Tuesday night for shoplifting sunglasses ranging in value from $130 to $300 from the Sunglass Hut on the Broadway at the Beach strip in Myrtle Beach.

 
The Newfane Panthers were in South Carolina to participate in the Mingo Bay baseball tournament and were traveling with their parents. Superintendent Tibbits says parents were not with their children at the time the shoplifting took place. Apparently, the parents of one player had given their son the keys to their car Tuesday night.

 
“It’s a serious thing for the families [and] for the kids involved,” said Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes.

 
The police report states that at least three of the players stole sunglasses while the other players in the store distracted the clerk by asking questions about other items. Police say they also recovered other stolen items from the suspects.

 
In all, 13 players made the trip with coach Jeff Kneeland. Their families paid for all of the expenses. During the course of the week, the seven players involved in the incident took turns being suspended from the field, allowing those who had nothing to do with the shoplifting incident to play without being penalized.

 
The teens sentenced in Myrtle Beach will serve their community service in Western New York. The seven involved in the incident will appear before the school’s Athletic Disciplinary Council and have a hearing with the superintendent.