The Octagon

Robbery at Loehmann’s Plaza leads to unofficial school lockdown

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Shimin Zhang
Juniors Jewel Turner and Emma Boersma, two varsity volleyball players who were supposed to play in the game at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, wait next to art teacher Andy Cunningham as he asks someone outside whether the lockdown is over.

The Country Day campus went under unofficial lockdown at 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 7 due to a robbery at Loehmann’s Plaza.

According to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, the suspect was caught and taken into police custody around 4:15 p.m., which consequently ended the school lockdown.

Head of high school Brooke Wells said that he and other faculty first became aware of the robbery around 3:45 p.m. after hearing a helicopter announce that a robbery had occured.

After that, an announcement was made over the school loudspeakers instructing students to go inside until further notice.

However, Wells said that he would not describe this as a true lockdown but rather as a “hide-and-shelter” event. This was because faculty members were still allowed to move freely throughout the campus, and students were able to leave buildings if they were accompanied by a staff member.

Although the lockdown wasn’t completely necessary, “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Wells said.

Students were not at a single location during the lockdown; they were spread around campus.

According to junior Jason Li, there were 15 to 20 people inside of the M.P. Room due to the student art show.

Shimin Zhang
Inderjit Rye, the aunt of senior Mohini Rye – whose artwork was in the show – and sophomore Sarina Rye, peers outside one of the M.P. Room’s few windows during the lockdown. Parents, students and teachers alike were stuck in the room as the lockdown continued.

Li said that the lockdown was uneventful for the people inside the room.

“We were (in the M.P. Room) to see the art, so we just kept on looking at the various displayed pieces,” Li said.

However, there was also a large number of people inside the gym due to the volleyball games, especially with the JV game scheduled to start at 4:30.

Junior Yumi Moon said that the volleyball players were inside the gym preparing for the game when they heard the announcement to go inside.

Moon said that initially, the volleyball players were moved into the gym’s equipment room.

However, after a few minutes, they were allowed to go back into the gym to continue practicing for the game. Shortly after that, the players were also able to access the bathrooms, although the doors to the gym remained locked.

In addition to the students in the M.P. Room and gym, there were also around 10 students in the Matthews Library for the duration of the lockdown.

Senior Blake Lincoln, however, was not on campus when the lockdown started; rather, he was at Loehmann’s Plaza, the scene of the crime.

According to Lincoln, Loehmann’s Plaza seemed normal, save for the presence of a few police officers and a helicopter nearby.

“I didn’t see anyone freaking out about it,” Lincoln said. “Everyone was just acting normally.”

However, once Lincoln left Loehmann’s, he said he could see lights and police cars near the entrance to the neighborhood across the street.

Senior Mehdi Lacombe was on campus during the lockdown, although he was originally outside when he heard the announcement over the speakers.

Shortly after the announcement, history teacher Sue Nellis approached him and his friends and told them to come into her room.

During the lockdown, Lacombe and others hid in the corner of the room as if it were a real lockdown.

However, not all students were hiding during the lockdown, which they would have done if it were a serious event. Unlike the students in Nellis’s room, students staying in the library were sitting out in the open – completely visible due to the library’s large windows.

Lacombe said that while he felt the lockdown was unnecessary because that the suspects were going in the opposite direction of the school – a fact he learned from Wells – he agreed with Wells that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“At one point (parent Christy) Procida came up to the door looking for (her son,) Luca, and couldn’t see him because we were hiding in the window’s blind spot,” Lacombe said.

“So it’s nice to know that the lockdown procedure works.”

—By David Situ

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