School vandalised in Merlewood

2015-04-30 14:58
The burglar gouged out a hole in the classroom to enter it.PHOTO:
candyce krishna

The burglar gouged out a hole in the classroom to enter it.PHOTO: candyce krishna

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FIFTEEN classrooms were burgled and some vandalised at Merlewood Primary over the weekend.

Teachers made the discovery on Monday after being alerted by the security company.

When pupils arrived on Tuesday, they were sent to the field as they waited for officers from the Criminal Record Centre to process the crime scene.

Deputy principal Tyrone Stevens­ says break-ins are a regular occurrence at the school and the same modus operandi is used each time.

“The last burglary took place in March. The point of entry to each classroom is similar.”

He said stationery, a microwave and other small items were taken. In the previous break-in, air-conditioning units were stolen.

“The classrooms were ransacked. It is such an inconvenience as we have to repair what’s broken­. The children have missed out on work as a result,” he said.

Principal Audrey Ryan, said each time the school in vandalised and burgled, it affects staff morale.

“Merlewood Primary is always treated as a second-class citizen by the department [of Education]. Incidents such as this are difficult to recover from as we don’t receive any assistance from the DoE or [Department of] Public Works,” said Ryan.

She added that the school will have to use cash from its own flow for repairs.

Ryan said there is no proper fencing around the school, which makes it easy for criminals to gain access.

The school is made entirely of dry wall which, in most places, is rotten and corroding.

“It’s easy for someone to punch a hole in the walls and enter the rooms, which has been done now and in past incidents,” she said.

An 18-year-old man was taken in for questioning on Monday after three members of the public identified­ him and found items belonging to the school in his possession.

“We would like to thank the community for being whistle blowers in this case.

“ We are grateful that they took action,” she added.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said Port Shepstone SAPS is investigating a case of business break-in

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