After a thief stole 20 CIF rings and a laptop from his classroom, a high school wrestling coach is hoping to recover more than just the rings.
In the burglary, which occurred Wednesday at Northview High School in Covina, at least one thief made away with the rings, multiple Chromebooks, a wrestling scale and the laptop of wrestling coach David Ochoa.
The financial hit is tough, Ochoa said, but knowing the memories contained in the laptop may be gone forever is what bothers him the most.
Ochoa said he estimates the rings are worth around $3,000 to $4,000, but the loss of the rings is not as bad as the stolen laptop.
"I never considered them my rings; I considered them the program's rings," he said.
"I just feel bad," Ochoa said, because the laptop contained photos of his time coaching at the school.
He began coaching at the school in 1989. Since that time, he said, the wrestling program has won 18 boys' titles and 5 girls' titles.
Top news of the day
Two of his own sons wrestled at the school, he said; Eric, who graduated in 2013, won a divisional title.
"There were photos there of us with his mom when he won," Ochoa said.
Ochoa said he first noticed his items were stolen when he arrived at his classroom Thursday around 7:30 a.m.
His laptop, which he had left on his desk, was missing. As he continued to walk around the classroom, he realized the Chromebooks were gone, along with a $1500 wrestling scale.
An hour later, he noticed the box of CIF rings was missing from his desk.
He also realized that one of the two doors in the classroom, the one seldom used, was ajar.
Security footage show a person wearing a hooded sweater entering the classroom, but not the person's face, Ochoa said.
Members of the community have been trying to help, but thus far police have no leads, he said.
As it stands, Ochoa said he wouldn't even press charges against the thieves, adding that anyone with the missing items could drop them off at the school.
He just wants the memories he has created at Northview to be returned to him.
"It's been a very special opportunity to be here," he said.