LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY, Texas (KWTX) The stolen state championship rings intended for members of the Academy High School softball team were paid for with donations, coaches say.
Temple police opened an investigation last week after two-dozen rings were stolen out of a coach’s truck Thursday night.
The truck, parked at the Villas on the Hill apartments in the 2500 block of South 31st Street in Temple, was left unlocked.
“It was an accident,” said coach Gus Beuershausen.
“A very stupid and embarrassing accident.”
Some of his personal items were also stolen, but Beuershausen is only concerned about the girl’s rings, worth about $7,500, which he said were paid for by donations.
“It is my fault for leaving them in there,” he said.
Temple Police confirmed they were investigating a lead Tuesday, but did not elaborate.
"There is no information I can release at this time as the investigation is still ongoing," said police spokesperson Shawana Neely. "The case is still actively being investigated."
The rings, which the team won in June, were supposed to have been presented at halftime during Friday night’s football game.
District officials said the ring ceremony will be rescheduled for a later date.
“This is a sad day for our district and our softball program,” Academy Superintendent Kevin Sprinkles said in a statement Friday.
“However we refuse to allow this criminal activity to detract from all of the hard work and determination our Lady Bees exhibited in earning these state championship rings.”
In June, the Lady Bees made program history with a 5-3 win over Santa Gertrudis Academy to claim the 3A State Softball Championship.
The district has contacted the ring supplier to determine the options for replacement.
Sprinkles asked anyone with information on the theft to call Temple PD at (254) 298-5500.
“The school district is cooperating fully with the Temple Police Department as they conduct their investigation,” he said.