Girls basketball team confronts thieves on bus

Image courtesy KION

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Teammates from South Salem High School’s girls basketball team came back from lunch in the Lloyd District Sunday to a scary scene: their bus’ backdoor was open and a strange woman was inside.

“I saw some of our bags on the ground so I started sprinting,” Evina Westbrook told KOIN 6 News. “She broke [part of the window], unlatched the back from inside.”

South Salem high school student Evina Westbrook explains how a thief got into her basketball team’s bus, March 12, 2017. (KOIN)

Her teammates surrounded the thieves’ truck as the woman tried to make a run for it.

“My hands [were] on the hood, she jump[ed] from the back of our bus into the car,” Westbrook recalled.

Point guard Faith Schuetz said she ran to the driver’s side and tried opening the door.

“It was so scary,” she said. “I thought if maybe I tried, I could get him to stop driving.”

But a pit bull jumped from the back seat and latched onto Schuetz’s arm. Fortunately, she said, the dog eventually let go without breaking her skin.

“There is a little bruising and swelling on my arm,” Schuetz said.

Some girls took pictures of the truck’s license plate as others worked to salvage 2 bags out of the truck bed. But the driver hit the gas, nearly hitting Westbrook.

Two thieves reportedly got away with bags they stole on a bus South Salem High School’s girls basketball team was using, March 12, 2017. (KOIN)

“I was able to jump away from the car,” she said. “It just grazed me a little bit but I was just so much in shock that luckily nothing is broken.”

Assistant coach Marc Burleson said 4 bags were stolen.

Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt.

“The safety of the kids first, that was my biggest concern,” Burleson said.

Assistant Coach Marc Burleson with Dani Harley (left) and Faith Schuetz (right) after thieves stole bags off of their bus, March 12, 2017. (KOIN)

The South Salem high schoolers went on to make up for their loss by winning their game 3 hours later. The girls went on to take 3rd place in the tournament.

“It bugged us in the beginning but we all got our heads together,” Schuetz said. “We worked as a team.”

Police say the suspects are described as a black man in his late 20s or early 30s and a white woman in her early 40s with curly, blonde-reddish shoulder-length hair. They had a brown and white pit bull and a white Toyota Tacoma 4-door pickup truck.

The truck was likely stolen, according to police.

Call Portland Police Bureau if you have any information on the suspects.

Two suspects drove off in this truck after allegedly stealing bags from a bus South Salem High School girls basketball team was using, March 12, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

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