Schools targeted by holiday burglars

By Alice Lock -
2 comments
Police officer Senior Constable Pehi Potaka investigated the school burglaries in the last school holidays and police are asking schools to remain vigilant through these ones. Pictured In July.
Police officer Senior Constable Pehi Potaka investigated the school burglaries in the last school holidays and police are asking schools to remain vigilant through these ones. Pictured In July.

Schools and youth facilities are being targeted by burglars with school holidays under way.

Police said they have already had four schools and youth facilities burgled and are only in to the second day of the holidays.

Items taken were mostly electrical items such as cameras and laptops, which take time and cost money for schools to replace.

In the last school holidays at the end of June, Raureka School and Ebbet Park School were at the centre of a burglary scene both having iPad minis stolen.

Sixteen were taken from Ebbet Park and another eight were taken from Raureka School.

Hawke's Bay Police tactical crime squad member Pehi Potaka said earlier that thieves were robbing kids of their education at a time when digital learning was very important.

"What's more, a lot of schools have difficulty meeting insurance excesses for this sort of thing, but the money has to come from somewhere - usually some other part of the school budget. One way or another, children still miss out."

Police were able to recover five of the iPads taken following the Ebbet Park burglary when they searched a Flaxmere property.

Detective sergeant John McCarthy of Hawke's Bay CIB said they were still looking in to the newly reported burglaries and until they had a better idea of where they were going with it he was unable to comment on what schools were affected.

"We need to look in to see if there are any trends and any leads on suspects but just remind schools to be vigilant."

In all four of the recent burglaries damage had also been incurred to the premises, which would prove costly to fix.

Eastern Police urged schools to ensure any items of value were either removed from school facilities or stored in a secure place away from view.

Police also asked the public to help by looking out for any suspicious behaviour such as people hanging around school grounds, especially during the hours of darkness.

If anyone does see anything suspicious they are encouraged to call Police immediately on 111 or anonymously on Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.

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