HOLLYWOOD : Theft Strands Gym Team From Michigan University


A women’s gymnastics team from Western Michigan University found itself stranded in Hollywood on Monday after someone broke into the troupe’s rented van and stole about $7,000 and airline tickets.

“So, basically, they have no place to stay and no money to get home on,” said Sgt. James Litton of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Station. “They came to the station to make a report, and we’re trying to see what we can do for them.”

The 15 women and their coach, who came to the Southland for a spring break meet in Fullerton on Friday, decided to rent a van and take in the sights in Hollywood in the meantime.


“They parked over by the Chinese Theater and when they returned they discovered their van had been broken into. They were missing about $7,000, their airline tickets to get home and various other items,” Litton said.

The team headed to Goleta, home of UC Santa Barbara, Tuesday night to use training facilities there for two days. “They had reservations up there. However, the money they were going to use for those rooms was stolen,” Litton said.

Heidi Wardinski, 20, a sophomore education major, said that unless someone can help, “we’re going to go home tomorrow. We don’t have any money to stay. But we want to compete.”