Arrests made, but teacher’s tools still not recovered

2013-02-18T17:44:00Z 2013-02-18T17:48:45Z Arrests made, but teacher’s tools still not recoveredKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
February 18, 2013 5:44 pm  • 

Despite the arrest of three suspects in connection with the incident, Jerry Harris, the Napa High School teacher who also works as a floor covering contractor, is still without the tools he lost when thieves allegedly broke into his parked van at the school in mid-January.

Harris arrived at school Jan. 14 to discover one or more persons had broken into his van, which was parked overnight in a lighted parking lot. The tools he had collected over three decades, including those his late father had given him, were gone, he said in late January.

Three suspects were subsequently arrested, according to the Napa Police Department. Police found “numerous” construction tools in one of the suspects’ possession, according to a police account. But Harris only identified a bucket and a radio he owned among the tools, said his wife, Trena. The other tools are not his, Harris said.

Harris’ collection included tools that are no longer made, he said.

Napa Police Lt. Debbie Peecook on Friday said the investigation continues.

“No other confirmed stolen property was recovered. The only property of the victim’s that was recovered was the radio and the bucket,” she said. What happened to the tools is unknown and the suspects are not saying, she said.

Trena Harris said there is a $1,000 reward for the return of the tools — all of them. “We need the tools back in order to give the reward,” she stressed. Otherwise, there is no reward.

Peecook said there is a market for stolen goods. Tools, cellphones, computers and other goods can be sold to friends or traded for drugs and other items. The items can also be sold online, she said. Gold and silver jewelry may be sold at stores purchasing these metals, Peecook said.

In the meantime, Trena Harris said, other contractors are loaning her husband tools. People have done all they can do to offer help, she said.

“We cannot thank people enough,” Trena said. “It’s very heartwarming to know that Napa is such a gracious community.”

Her husband is “a really good man,” she said. “He would give his shirt off his back.”

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