Four teens that ran out of Laguna Beach’s Rip Curl Surf Center with two, $449 skim boards last Monday made their getaway on the city’s free summer trolley, which stops feet away from the store.
The kids never got the chance to throw down the boards though they did get as far as Dana Point’s Salt Creek Beach, better known for surfing than skim boarding and the final southern stop on the trolley route.
After asking another employee to call police, the fast-acting store manager set out in her own vehicle to tail the trolley with the board-toting boys on Coast Highway, slow-going in 5:30 p.m. congestion.
“I knew where they were going,” said store manager Tania Cassill, who recalled learning the 14 and 15-year-olds attended Dana Hills High since they had visited the newly opened shop within the last month.
“I can ID every one of you in a Dana Hills yearbook,” Cassill recalled telling the foursome, which she found waiting for a ride at the Ritz Carlton bus stop with the purloined boards. After ordering them to put the skim boards in her car and informing them the police were en route, three of the four fled, she said.
Cassill called the mother of the remaining boy. She arrived before police did, enraged by her son’s behavior and his companions, Cassill said. He was cited for theft, Capt. Jason Kravetz said.
Earlier in the store, the boys went so far as to consult with Cassill over what size board fit their height. “It was pre-meditated; one guy was standing at the door looking for the trolley,” said Cassill, still incredulous at the boys’ audacity.
The incident yielded its own silver lining.
Cassill now enjoys hero status in the eyes of her own two teens, which attend Laguna Beach High. And by week’s end, she witnessed an act of courage from a boy abandoned by his buddies that had the character to hand-deliver a note of apology in person.