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Homemade bench stolen from neighboorhood bus stop
Last year, Patrick Gonzalez built three wooden benches and put them at the school bus stop on the side of his house so the elementary-age children who waited there each morning would have a place to sit until their bus came to pick them up.
However, when those children arrived at the bus stop Thursday morning, which is located in the 1900 block of W. 21st Lane in Yuma, they had to sit on the curb or stand, because the benches had been stolen sometime between late Wednesday night or earlier that same morning.
“It's a really messed-up thing to do,” said grandson Dallas Nickey, about the benches being stolen. “(His grandfather) put them out for the school kids so they would have someplace to sit while they waited for their bus.”
Nickey said he is pretty sure the benches weren't fastened to the ground in any way, but said his grandfather probably felt there was no reason for them to be. The only thing the thieves left was a small wooden sign that had the words “school kids” written on it in black ink.
“I'm sure he wasn't very happy they were stolen,” Nickey said. “I'm sure he is just going to make some more.”
Nickey also said he did not think his grandfather reported the theft to police.
Gonzalez, a retired electrical engineer, would often go out to the bus stop and greet the kids with his dog, and over the years, he has affectionately become known as “grandpa” to all the children.
Nickey said his grandfather took up woodworking after he retired and has been making things for the entire family ever since.
“I have some benches at my house. My aunt has some. Everyone in our family has benches,” Nickey said with a smile.