Fond du Lac man charged with stealing from Oakfield school

Oakfield Jr./Sr. High School is seen, Feb. 13, 2014.
Oakfield Jr./Sr. High School is seen, Feb. 13, 2014.

FOND DU LAC - A custodian at Oakfield Junior-Senior High School was allegedly caught in the act, stealing money after sporting events at the school.

And it's a crime that has residents riled up.

Mark Hoffman, 47, appeared in Fond du Lac County court by video from the jail Thursday.

Hoffman found himself locked up after admitting to Oakfield police he had been stealing money raised from concession sales after basketball games from the vault at the Jr./Sr High School.

"He was the night shift custodian, so after everybody cleared out and the building was secured, he entered the vault and took the money," said Oakfield Police Chief Renee Schuster.

And in Oakfield where parents volunteer at those concession stands, the theft is not sitting well.

"When we are putting our money in it and supporting our kids and trying to make things work, because they take the concession money and that goes to the youth programs and things and when they take that away from us that hurts, it's not a very good thing," said Wendy Hounsell.

Schuster says school officials became suspicious earlier this month when they started to notice money missing after home games. Schuster says she advised the school principal to set up a camera in the school vault.

They did and according to the criminal complaint, a man with his face covered by a sweatshirt, but matching Hoffman's clothing and size was seen entering the school vault after a basketball game last Friday night. Schuster then caught him in the act after a game Tuesday night and arrested him.

"He admitted to at least 10 attempts, so that would put it through the whole basketball season."

She says he admitted to the thefts because he was having financial problems.

"That was what was very frustrating not only to myself, but to the school staff that it became pretty certain that it was someone from within the staff."

Hoffman is facing more than 13 years in prison and will be back in court on March 14.

He is charged with burglary and theft and was released from jail on a signature bond.