The La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Primary School in Orange Walk Town has been facing a series of burglaries over the past month and a half. The situation has become so serious that the school administration has issued an alert to parents and the public via social media. School principal, Lenny Umaña says the break-ins began in March and have continued as recent as two nights ago.
Lenny Umana- School Principal: “We have been noticing that the burglars come in, they steal whatever they want from the classrooms, they fix all the windows as if nothing was stolen and they leave. In early March we caught one of the burglars, the burglar was arrested and unfortunately, he pleaded guilty and then was released of course. He is out and a week or so after that we caught another burglar, he was only arrested for two days and again was released but the burglaries continue. The information that we are getting is that they are operating as a group and what they do is they spy and scan the area. They study the watchman hours because we do have a watchman here. They stole our cameras so even that is gone and at this point now the break-ins have become very regular so the last one being the one that occurred over the weekend. They came in through the roof, this was a first for us. They came through the roof and entered the main office. Fortunately for us, they could not exit because we have burglar bars all over the place and the thing of great value, because they took a few stuff. The thing of great value was our external hard drive, that is the brain of our school that is gone and we would wish if we could recover that so I hope we get something from the police very soon.”
The school management has taken measures to secure doors and windows at the school. Umaña says that while the school’s hard drive is the most important item that has been taken, there were other items taken.
Lenny Umana- School Principal: “Since this started we have lost a sound system, we have lost children’s water coolers by the gallons and we are talking about five or six gallons they would go away with, teachers’ bulletin boards, the materials that the parents would send in for the cleaning of the classroom: the disinfectants and paper towels. They broke into Ms. Ack’s office in the Infant division and they literally stole ideals, simple things that you would wonder why but they do. The little sales that the teachers have in their classrooms: A teacher lost about $200 that she had collected the day before and was going to submit it, unfortunately she forgot and that was gone. They would steal minor items but the vandalism that comes with it, the repairs that go with it, the stress that the teacher goes through is what is making things even worse for the school. As you know it the school gets no money other than what the parents contribute so whenever these burglars come in they are affecting an entire community because it is from the parents to the students, even the teachers you know do little fundraising to keep the school going and they keep stalking our school. I don’t know if I am the only school being affected at this time but it has been repetitious but it is at least once a week and it is always on the day the watchman has his day off.”
According to Umaña, the security cameras alone value at least three thousand dollars and the sound system costs four hundred dollars. The break-ins have cost the school over six hundred dollars as well including locks and damage to entry points. The school administration is asking the public to remain vigilant and if possible help in recovering the hard drive. ////////