Approximately $13,500 worth of equipment was allegedly stolen from the Cal Poly Rose Float team on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona on March 5.
Items stolen from two separate locations — the Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float lab and the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rose Float trailer — included a drill and welder combined at a $3,500 value, among other items stolen from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo trailer.
The Cal Poly Pomona University Police is investigating the crime, according to the Cal Poly Universities’ Rose Float website.
The work and storage areas were last seen locked with all items intact two days prior.
The sliding door of the lab was pried open to enter the work area, according to the website. The latch and lock on the storage containers were cut, giving access to all the equipment inside.
Bobby Dodge, the assistant construction chair of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rose Float team, said someone simply found a way to break into the storage containers.
“Based on what we found, someone was able to break through and basically pry open the metal door,” Dodge said.
Among the allegedly stolen items were Miller MIG welders of various sizes, grinders, sawzalls and various tools.
As of now, the number of people involved is unknown. Due to the size of some of the items, there is speculation that at least two individuals were involved.
The Cal Poly Rose Float team is now faced with making decisions about where to go from here.
Dodge said the event was out of their control and the two groups will still come together to produce a float this year.
“It doesn’t seem like it is going to have an effect (on us working together) at all,” he said. “We definitely plan to continue working with Cal Poly Pomona.”
The Rose Float is one of the few connections the two Cal Poly campuses share, and Dodge said it would be a shame to end a partnership due to an unfortunate event.
“We will be replacing the equipment and getting right back to work (with Pomona),” Dodge said. “This was just an unlucky event that we are going to have to bounce back from.”
Andrea Robinson, a business administration junior, said she was upset to hear about the recent theft of Rose Float equipment.
“I guess I’m not too surprised that something like this could happen,” Robinson said. “It’s just a total bummer because (the Rose Float team) is a cool, good-natured program.”
Although other Rose Float workers said the program is fun, some worry about the impact the theft will have on the team’s reputation.
Meagan Higgins, a mechanical engineering junior, said the news is frustrating because of the negative image it sends.
“People work really hard on that float, and it reflects on both of the Cal Poly campuses,” Higgins said. “If it was a Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) student who did it, they make us look bad.”
Higgins said she hopes the stolen equipment will not affect the Rose Float but expects that it will.
“I think it is going to negatively affect the float because we are already in a budget crisis,” Higgins said. “Thirteen thousand dollars is a lot of money to raise for new equipment.”
Despite everything, the Rose Float team will continue on as planned. The Rose Float should be as good as ever and the little hiccup in the plans will not affect the outcome this year, Dodge said.
“We are still on schedule,” Dodge said. “This was just a little speed bump.”