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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 30, 2009

100 football jerseys stolen


By Diana Leone
Advertiser Staff Writer

WHO TO CALL

Anyone with information should call Detective Scott Kurashige at 808-326-4646, ext. 265, or 808-935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 808-961-8300 in Hilo or 808-329-8181 in Kona. All CrimeStoppers information is kept confidential.

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Wanted: the return of 100 Konawaena High School green and white football jerseys.

The Big Island team's best-quality game jerseys for both home and away games were stolen from the school locker room Memorial Day weekend.

Interim athletic director Chelsea Qualey discovered the theft Sunday, when she noticed the doors to the boys locker room and equipment room were open. She called in the head coach to do an inventory and almost all of the game jerseys were gone.

Big Island police are investigating, but so far the shirts have not been returned, Qualey said. "We're still hoping that's what is going to happen."

Qualey doesn't see how anyone could wear the stolen jerseys on the Big Island without someone realizing what they are.

"I don't have the feeling it was an opposing school," Qualey said. "I'm a little worried it may have been some of our own students, because they knew exactly where they were nothing stolen except the game jerseys.

"I hope it wasn't our students, because our football team strives for excellence both on and off the field," she said.

Replacing the jerseys would cost more than $8,000. With school athletic budgets cut in half for the coming year, "we don't have the money," Qualey said. "We're going to struggle just to get by."

The silver lining of the situation is that "the community has already come out extremely strong" with offers to do fundraisers or help the school purchase new jerseys.

"If worst came to worst, the team would just have to use practice jerseys for games and they're old and torn up."

The school normally buys new football jerseys every four years, she said.