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Grandville robotics coach thought theft was a joke

10:53 PM, Mar 10, 2013   |    comments
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Grandville High School 'RoboDawgs' robotics team.

(WZZM) - When he noticed his team's truck and trailer missing, a Grandville robotics coach says he thought someone was fooling around.

"My first reaction was that it was a joke one of the coaches was playing because there's some practical jokers on this team," said Doug Hepfer, coach of the Grandville Robotics Team. "I thought, 'aw someone pulled it around back,' and the more we talked about it, we realized it was really gone"

The Grandville team returned home Sunday. The coach of the Robo Dawgs says his team was checking into a Toronto hotel Wednesday when someone broke into their truck and trailer and drove off.

The team lost computers, robotic parts and all of their luggage.

Members still competed with the help of donations from rival robotics teams and the Canadian community.

"At the competition itself there was this tremendous groundswell of support from other teams," said Hepfer. "We had a dozen teams come and bring us things. It's competitive, but it's not competitive at a level where people want others to do poorly, there's a tremendous incentive to get everyone performing at their best."

In all, the stolen belongings were worth around $40,000. So far there are no suspects.

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