Well-planned burglary hits school hard

VICKI WATERHOUSE
Last updated 12:13 19/05/2012

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Burglars who broke into Levin's Waiopehu College caused thousands of dollars worth of damage when they shattered glass and smashed doors in the school's main office.

Thieves ransacked the main office on Thursday night, leaving a trail of destruction. Three doors were broken, while papers and office materials were strewn across the floor.

The thieves took a small amount of cash but caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage in the process.

The burglary has left staff feeling violated and angry. Principal Barry Petherick expected students at the school would be upset as a year 12 business group had its money stolen in the burglary.

"Some of them will be directly affected," he said. "You just get annoyed at the stupidity of it."

Office worker Jane Hudson was one of the staff who walked in and saw the mess.

"It's just an invasion really, isn't it?" she said.

A small cash box went unseen and the thieves only stole the money from one cash drawer.

"They've spent a lot of energy getting in somewhere and not looking properly," Ms Hudson said.

Mr Petherick said the damage to the building was his biggest concern. The office block was renovated a year ago.

"It is a nice office," he said. "It's going to cost us money which really should be spent in the classroom."

He said the culprits had come well prepared, breaking through steel doors with tools. They had piled up outdoor furniture in order to gain access to the roof, so they could get in the office.

Police have dusted for prints and examined a screwdriver left at the scene.

It was the second time the school had been broken into in six months.

Just before Christmas, someone broke into the principal's office and stole a laptop.

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- Manawatu Standard

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