Burglars hit six Bay schools

By Genevieve Helliwell


Night-time burglars have stolen computers and other electronic equipment from six Bay schools.

They struck Selwyn Ridge, Omanu Primary, Te Akau Ki Papamoa, Otumoetai Intermediate, Tauranga Intermediate and Mount Maunganui Intermediate in the past two weeks. Some schools have been hit twice.

Security camera footage captured images of two men breaking into Otumoetai Intermediate school three times and stealing five iMac computers.

On Monday, they raided the school at 6.20am and took four computers from the school's graphics suite.

That raid followed one on February 26 about 9pm when they snatched one computer from a classroom. CCTV footage showed the two men returning to the school about eight hours later but it did not appear they took anything, police said.

Otumoetai deputy principal John Stanley said the thieves used some type of pry bar to force open the classroom door.

"This is hugely upsetting," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"It's not just the loss of the computers, it's the time spent and cost to replace the damaged locks and equipment. It will impact on what we can offer kids and their learning."

Thieves struck Selwyn Ridge Primary School and stole iMac computers on February 28 despite the school having a security system. Principal Craig Price said each computer was worth about $1500 when bought 18 months ago. The thefts disrupted school learning and it had been "an invasion on the kids' learning space".

St Mary's School, which has not been burgled, is considering installing security cameras. Detective Sergeant Alan Kingsbury said it was possible the burglaries were linked.

"Police are asking people living near schools to be extra vigilant and aware and call police if they see anything suspicious or if they're aware of people trying to offload electronic goods."

Student leader tells heartless thieves to get a clue


Pick on someone your own size.

That's the message Otumoetai Intermediate student leader Ashleigh Cornwell has for burglars who raided her school.

The graphics classroom's back wall is filled with holes where four iMac computers used to sit.

Ashleigh is angry at the thieves who stole from her and other children at the school.

"Schools are for education and if things like computers are stolen it's not going to help student learning," she said.

"I think they should back down and pick on someone their own size."

The computers were marked by SelectaDNA, which identified them as school property.

When thieves hit


  • Selwyn Ridge: February 21

  • Omanu Primary: February 22

  • Selwyn Ridge: February 22-24

  • Te Akau Ki Papamoa: February 25

  • Otumoetai Intermediate: February 25

  • Tauranga Intermediate: February 25

  • Otumoetai Intermediate: March 4

  • Omanu Primary: March 4

  • Mount Maunganui Intermediate: March 4

- Bay of Plenty Times

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