NORTH PORT - Earlier this week we told you about thieves stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from North Port High School's baseball team. Thursday, North Port police announced the arrests of two men for the crime.
19-year-old Joshua Luff and 18-year-old Edward Hignutt now face charges for stealing more than $6,000 worth of gloves, bats, balls and other equipment.
The two men were seen in surveillance video back in November as a camera caught them coming onto campus and walking away with the equipment.
For weeks authorities and school officials thought they might be looking for kids. Just this past Tuesday, athletic director Ryan LaVallee noticed two guys in an empty campus parking lot. "Once I saw them in the parking lot, I thought these guys look like the two kids."
Something just didn't seem right. "It was late and it was kind of odd that two kids were walking where they were. Knowing we had had this theft we wanted to find out."
While they were not exactly youngsters, the team was desperate for the equipment. He was desperate for a name. Something he got and gave to police. "We interviewed them and they admitted to the offense," says Captain Anthony Sirianni.
They say the two potential juveniles in the video turned out to be adults. "The video was misleading. They are both adults."
As far as the equipment, "It was stashed. I know we have some recovered. Detectives are working on recovering a great deal of equipment at this time. That is in the process as we speak."
Making things a little harder to swallow is the fact that Luff was actually a student at the school as recently as 2011. "He didn't look like he did when he went to school here. I think it is a shame…a little disappointing. Kids make mistakes," says LaVallee.
On the bright side, the school has been humbled by support along the way, receiving help from the Tampa Bay Rays and local residents. "It has been very nice to see this outpouring of hospitality to help out our baseball team."
Both young men are now facing serious charges of burglary and theft. The charges against both men are considered felonies.