Western Leader : December 3rd 2010
www.westernleader.co.nz Friday, December 3, 2010 Meet Santa and Monty and watch the show Saturday 4 December, 11am Bring this ad to Customer Service on December 4 and you'll also get a free Monty Christmas stocking. WTE WONDERLAND SHOW 0734/6x7/WL and you ll also get a fr e y S andyou ll a WES also g Stocks are limited. Terms and Conditions apply. wes stfield.co.nz z//w we e ws st s s cit cityy Burglars hit schools By CATHERINE HEALY Battling burglars: Principal Maree Stavert in front of her office door which was broken into by thieves at Henderson Valley. School Photo: CATHERINE HEALY PRINCIPALS fear burglars are doing their Christmas shopping by stealing laptops and data projectors from west Auckland schools. Thieves targeted five schools within 10 days last month, making off with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and leaving their victims with hefty bills to fix broken doors and locks. Sunnyvale principal Charmaine Munro says burglaries always increase over Christmas. Every incident costs schools money to repair the damage, improve their security and replace items. I don t think there s anything that makes me as mad as this, she says. They re taking money away from children s learning. But I guess those people don t think like that. Thieves had already stolen eight data projectors over the past 18 months when burglars attacked again on November 22. Two data projectors were ripped from the ceiling in the latest raid. The thieves wrecked classroom doors by breaking the locks with a crowbar. The teachers and students are devastated because they learn so well when we use technology -- par- ticularly the boys, Ms Munro says. Holy Cross principal Kathy Moy- Low says her school has been burgled regularly this year, most recently a month ago, when $10,000 worth of ICT equipment was taken. It s well thought-out and planned, she says. They break doors with crow bars and smash windows. Sometimes they case the joint. It s hugely frus- trating. The police are taking this very seriously. They come quickly, but I think they re fighting a war. What we need is a public outcry over this, she says. Royal Road School was burgled the same night as Sunnyvale and a laptop was stolen. Principal Helen Mowat says it was locked to a desk but that didn t stop thieves getting away with it. Three doors were wrecked to gain entry. When Henderson Valley School was burgled two weeks ago the thieves were almost caught. The caretaker lives on site and heard the alarm. He came in the front door to switch the off and they went out the back, principal Maree Stavert says. His partner got a look at them, she says. The police came very quickly with dogs, but they weren t able to track them. Burglaries happen more at this time of year with daylight savings and people out and about. It doesn t happen in the depths of winter when it s raining, she says. The school lost two Apple com- puters in the raid. The excess means it s not worth claiming on insurance for two com- puters, so those are just gone, she says. Henderson North School was also burgled on Sunday and five laptops were stolen. Acting sergeant Lee Bigelow from the Henderson burglary squad says schools are an easy target for bur- glars. He urges people to watch out for criminal activity and report sus- picious behaviour to police. Contact Henderson police with any information about the school burglaries on 839-0600. Or call the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800-555-111. SCHOOLS GET MICRODOT KITS BNZ is donating 75 SelectaDNA Kits to west Auckland schools to help reduce burglaries. Each kit contains coded micro- dots to attach to property. Police can use microscopes to read the microdots on recovered goods, which help provide evidence of ownership. A trial in south Auckland showed the system drastically reduced burglaries. The kits are available to buy from BNZ branches.
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