by Jacqueline Sit
"I thought they were playing a joke or something," Ramiro Mier, an Ag Mechanic student at Garden City High School, said.
But it is no joke, a project taking almost a year to complete is gone and what's worse, it's a fundraiser.
"We spent a lot of time on it, put in a lot of work and money," Marcos Cook, an Ag Mechanic student, said.
It was a heartbreaking discovery, students in the Ag Mechanic program at Garden City High School arrived for class the first part of the week, only to find an empty space where their project was once parked, a trailer and deer stand they designed and built with their own hands and there were plenty of hands involved.
"There was a lot of classes that worked on it so pretty much everybody in Ag put some effort, but it's hard to know that it's gone, and we might not get it back," Kelsey Jones, another student, said.
Witnesses say they last saw the equipment in this area on Highway 158, heading east towards garden city on Monday afternoon.
"We kind of think someone might have it, and may have bought it not knowing it was stolen so we're hunting hard to try to find it," Rusty Hollingsworth, the Ag Mechanic teacher, said.
Whether or not the stolen trailer and deer stand are found, these students will tell you they've learned a valuable life lesson. What they plan to do with that lesson is move forward, the raffle will go on, and if they have to build another one, they say they'll get it done.
"Sometimes we try to set a positive example, unfortunately this is a negative example, but I feel confident that they'll rise above it, it's not going to get them down too much," Hollingsworth said.
Students and teachers are hoping someone out there knows something and they've even posted a notice in public places and several businesses. Students say they're willing to build a reward for anyone who has information that leads to the recovery of their hard work.