Sheriff Issues Citation Amid Facebook Posts on Alleged Shuttle Bullying, Theft

A 14-year-old La Cañada High School boy was issued a citation for grand theft recently for allegedly stealing an LCHS girl’s wallet while on the free LCF shuttle after school, according to Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“It’s under investigation,” Chu said, noting that the LCHS school resource officer is now handling the issue.
The officers were asked to investigate after a closed Facebook page was filled with comments calling attention to a group of 9th-grade boys who have been allegedly verbally harassing other students, groping girls and stealing from people on the shuttle, which many children ride after school.
In a Facebook post on Oct. 12, LCHS parent Melissa Gabriel wrote about a 9th-grade boy in connection with an alleged theft, but said a group of boys had not been discouraged from “vaping, taunting, groping girls and attempting to steal.”
Gabriel told The Outlook that her daughter, an LCHS student, had her wallet stolen the first week of October when she got on the bus after finishing school. The girl got on with a crowd of people, and she felt someone nudge her backpack.
“She turned around, the wallet was gone,” Gabriel said. The wallet had some cash, a credit card, some gift cards and an ATM card.
After an investigation, authorities were able to find the wallet, which was thrown into the bushes after some cash was taken out. The boy was later cited, she said.
LCHS school resource officer and Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy Eric Matejka confirmed that school officials and law enforcement have addressed the issue and are continuing to monitor the situation.
“Anything in the past has been addressed,” Matejka said. “If there are students having problems with other students, talk to the school principal or their counselors. I’m the school resource officer there. We definitely want them to have an enjoyable trip on the bus.”
On Saturday, LCUSD Governing Board member Ellen Multari issued a response to the Facebook thread.
“The incidents have been reported to and investigated by administration,” Multari said. “Site administration continues to closely monitor. Disciplinary consequences have been issued. The situation has been reported to the city and law enforcement and both will be taking measures to ensure safety.”
Gabriel said she’s heard of the behavior by this group of boys since last year, and is attempting to get children and parents together to talk about the issue and come up with a solution.
“These boys count on kids not getting together and not sticking together,” Gabriel said. “I think there’s strength in numbers. We need to empower the kids.”

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