$13,000 in tile stolen

About 2,500 square feet of tile valued at $13,000 was stolen from Bellview Elementary School during the past month while the school was being renovated, police said.

The theft was discovered on Tuesday, but could have occurred anytime between then and July 4, according to the police report released on Wednesday.

Several entrances to the construction site at 1070 Tolman Creek Road were not secured during that time, said Sgt. Scott Schuster with the Ashland Police Department.

Construction workers aren't sure when the rubber floor tiles disappeared because they didn't keep close track of the 17,000 square feet of it being installed, Schuster said.

"It could be missed because it's only 2,500 feet of 17,000 but, at the same time, it's a pretty substantial loss," he said.

Sixteen gallons of liquid adhesive, used to affix the tile, was also stolen, according to the report.

Schuster said the person who reported the theft to the police said the stolen tile, which was stacked in cardboard boxes, could have all fit in one large pickup truck.

Police aren't sure if the theft was "an inside job or an outside job," he said.

The theft will not delay the opening of the school, said Jill Turner, business manager for Ashland School District.

"We're not going to be delayed because of this incident," she said.

On Monday, school officials will begin installing furniture and preparing classrooms for when students arrive in early September.

It was not immediately clear whether the district or the contracted construction company will have to pay to replace the stolen tile.

Officials ask that anyone with information about the theft call the Ashland Police Department at 482-5211.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.

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