The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

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Photo by Julia Seiden
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Taking a selfie with some of their castmates, including senior Aidan Cox, who plays Buddy the Elf, junior Brooke Ferguson shows off a sign presenting the arrival of “Elf. This year’s musical, “Elf” runs Dec. 1-3 in the CPHS PAC. “[Learning a new script is] always kind of a challenge,” Ferguson said. “You get a new cast and you get your own part. I’ve never worked closely with these people before. It’s a different environment and doing character work with someone new, trying to partner work and scene work is interesting. The script is good and it has a lot of jokes, it’ll be a lot of laughs.” Photo by Brooke Ferguson
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Swiper, No Swiping!

Student Cars Stolen, How To Keep Yours Safe
Photo Courtesy of Sophie Poulsen
Posing next to her 2015 Hyundai Sonata, junior and Celebrities Dance Team Second Lieutenant Sophie Poulsen holds up her license. Poulsen’s car was stolen on Aug. 28 from the school parking lot, and was missing for a day before police recovered it. “I was shocked,” Poulsen said. “I never expected, especially in Cedar Park, for my car to get stolen. I still don’t know who [stole my car], but I wish I knew. I don’t think the cops are going to figure it out, because there’s no point. It already happened. We’re probably never going to know. I feel like it was a student, but who knows? [Nevertheless], Cedar Park is not that [kind of place].”

Students safely leaving their cars unattended in the school parking lot during the school day has not been an issue in recent years. However, with two stolen car cases on record this year in the span of only a little over a month of school, students are beginning to worry about vehicle safety and how to keep their personal possessions secure.

The first car theft this school year left junior Sophie Poulsen without her car for nearly a month due to repairs. Her 2015 Hyundai Sonata was stolen on Aug. 28, two weeks after school started.

“It was seven in the morning,” Poulsen said. “I parked in the school parking lot, went inside [the school], and had my regular school day. At around 3:45-ish I walked out to go to my car, and it was not in its spot.”

After searching the parking lot for the car with her friends, Poulsen went to the front office and filed a police report with the help of a counselor after calling her parents.

“[My parents] were just shocked,” Poulsen said. “When I told them, my mom was like ‘check again.’ She didn’t even believe me. [My dad and I] talked [to the police] about when my car went missing and what happened, and they got my license registration, [too]. The [counselor said a car theft on campus] had never happened before.”

Poulsen’s car was gone overnight, but the next day, someone called the police department from a nearby neighborhood and reported seeing an abandoned car with a broken window. The police identified it as Poulsen’s, and were able to return it to her that night.

“[My car] had a broken window and a broken steering wheel column,” Poulsen said. “My car was not unlocked, [so the thief] broke in through the window, took out the steering column and hot-wired the car, and then used it. [The only thing] they stole [was] my license. Everything else was in place, which was so weird to me. They stole my license, took my car for a ride, and that’s it.”

Until she was able to get another license at the DMV on Monday, Poulsen had to catch rides with friends and her parents to school and other activities. When she gets her car back from an auto shop after it is done getting repaired, Poulsen will be putting an AirTag in her car, as well as installing a DashCam.

“DashCams are helpful if they are working,” Officer Steph Cash, the school’s resource officer, said. “[The police] have used them before and they’ve been helpful. I’ve never seen somebody try to use an AirTag yet. I don’t know very much about it, but it sounds like it would be helpful.”

Poulsen posted a video to her Instagram account after her car was stolen.

If there is a theft on campus or any other security issue, Officer Cash is the person students reach out to for help. Cash works with the local police department to file reports and notify other police officers of school incidents.

“At the school, no, [a stolen car is not common],” Officer Cash said. “It does happen in the community sometimes, unfortunately, but at the school it’s not a normal thing at all. [To avoid getting your belongings stolen], keep your car locked and your keys on you or locked away somewhere. Don’t leave anything valuable in plain sight, like wallets, purses, credit cards. Anything that would make someone enticed to break into [your car].”

Since her car was locked when it was stolen, Poulsen has her own advice for students, besides keeping car doors locked and valuables out of sight.

“Definitely get an AirTag or get some kind of tracker for your car,” Poulsen said “Lock your doors, I feel like that’s it. My car was locked, and they broke in. Try to get a newer car, too, because they have good [safety] features.”

Poulsen’s parents had their car stolen in downtown Austin years ago, but other than that she said she doesn’t know of anyone else who has had experience with a car theft in the area.

“I was shocked,” Poulsen said. “I never expected, especially in Cedar Park, for my car to get stolen. I still don’t know who [stole my car], but I wish I knew. I don’t think the cops are going to figure it out, because there’s no point. It already happened. We’re probably never going to know. I feel like it was a student, but who knows? [Nevertheless], Cedar Park is not that [kind of place].”

The second car theft involved senior Riley Corson’s Mercedes, which was stolen on Sept. 13, resulting in a police car chase with helicopters during Meet the Timberwolves. Corson had left her keys in the weight room while she practiced for cross country and had them stolen. Learn more about that car theft from The Wolfcast here.

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About the Contributor
Kacey Miller, Editor-in-Chief
Kacey is a junior and third year reporter. She loves learning about her fellow students and writing about their stories. In addition to being a staff member for The Wolfpack, she is a UIL journalism competitor, the Cedar Park FFA Vice President and has a show lamb named Winnie. If she’s not at the barn or practicing for her FFA contests, she’s probably doing homework. You can find her at every football game, either in the stands or on the sidelines taking pictures. Some of her favorite memories are from reading the Bible with her little sisters. She plans to attend college somewhere cold, but also doesn’t want to be too far away from her family. Her favorite animal is a bear and sometimes she wishes she could hibernate like one.

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    Alyssa FoxOct 5, 2023 at 9:03 am