Police investigating spate of school speaker thefts
Police are investigating a spate of thefts of speakers from schools across Christchurch.
St Albans School acting principal Claire Howison said thieves had taken about 20 speakers from the school in the last month.
She said the school was targeted last summer, but the thefts stopped in the colder months.
"It's started up again."
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Thieves stole three speakers from the school's new PA system early on October 6.
"[A speaker is] worth $80, and it costs another $80 to have it installed again."
Because each theft is an individual incident, the value of each one is too low for the school to claim insurance.
"It costs the school and money that should be spent on the children has to be spent on replacing stolen property."
Howison said nine speakers were stolen one Saturday morning in September, and she heard from other schools that about 60 speakers were stolen across the city in the same weekend.
She suspected people were using the speakers to play music on bikes.
"I don't know if that's the only market for them."
Security cameras caught footage of the thieves, including their faces, which Howison posted on the school's Facebook page.
She said in one day 148,000 people had viewed the post and 1700 had shared it.
Police acting youth service manager Sergeant Julie Fifield said police were investigating several school speaker thefts.
"We are analysing CCTV footage from the various schools targeted and this has given us strong lines of inquiry."
She recommended schools put identifiable markings on all school equipment.
"Police encourage schools to report any suspicious behaviour, particularly during the school holiday periods," Fifield said.
"It is also important that schools report any theft or damage within their school environment."
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact Christchurch police on 03 363 7400 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
SPEAKER THEFTS REPORTED TO POLICE:
- St Albans School: Three speakers stolen on October 6 and nine speakers stolen on September 9.
- Merrin School: Six speakers stolen between September 30 and October 2.
- Rawhiti School: Seven speakers stolen between September 29 and October 2.