Pinetown school burgled

2016-02-16 11:14
Screengrab from Scottsville Primary School CCTV footage taken during the school’s burglary early on Monday morning. The same gang is believed to be responsible for two other school computer heists.

Screengrab from Scottsville Primary School CCTV footage taken during the school’s burglary early on Monday morning. The same gang is believed to be responsible for two other school computer heists. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Pinetown primary school is the latest target in a string of thefts of computers and school equipment believed to be the work of the “Gadget Gang”.

Since the beginning of the academic year, six schools in Pietermaritzburg and one school in Cato Ridge have been hit by burglars with virtually the same modus operandi.

School insiders believe the theft at the Pinetown school is very similar to the other school thefts. “The school’s alarm wires were cut and the burglars gained access via the roof. They seemed to know exactly where the trap door and alarm was,” said a teacher from the school, who asked not to be named.

The teacher said the alarm company did not receive a signal and the break-in was only discovered on Sunday morning by the caretaker.

About 20 school laptops, five hard drives, two projectors, a digital camera and more than R10 000 was reported stolen. The teacher added that the school is still checking to see if there were any other losses.

“The burglars seemed very selective as they did not take any of the old computer monitors.

“They knew exactly where to go to and used an angle grinder to cut through the safe which left the office smelling like gunpowder,” said the teacher.

The teacher said a large amount of money was collected last week when the school hosted a Valentine’s Day event and allowed children to wear civvies.

“The money was from our fundraiser which was much needed as the school is not well off. We are battling for funds,” added the teacher.

Although teaching continued in the classrooms yesterday, the administration staff could not continue with work as they were busy with the aftermath of the robbery.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Nqobile Gwala said police would be investigating the case, however, it is too soon to link the Gadget Gang to the break-in.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  gadget gang  |  theft

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