Break-in leaves school flooded

Burglars stole the borehole pump.

Hillwood Primary School staff are calling on the community to assist the school after another burglary over the weekend.

Burglars broke into the girls and boys toilets and vandalised the rooms either on Friday evening or early Saturday morning.

They ripped out pipes, basins and stole the borehole pump, leaving the school flooded.

Although it is the first time the school had been burgled this year, in previous years thousands of rands were spent on fixing the school after incidents of vandalism and theft.

Principal Gavin Alkana said although the alarm was triggered, the criminals still continued. “We had a watchman on the premises who alerted the security company and then locked himself up in the caretaker’s room. He is not a security guard and does not have any way to protect himself, so I usually just advise that he press the panic button when there is suspicious activity. There is no way he can protect himself from guys with guns,” he said.

He said it is very disappointing and disheartening that criminals target the school. “It is very sad because these people doing this to the school probably had or still have family who attend the school. They couldn’t steal much so they decided to vandalise the basins which now have to be replaced,” Mr Alkana said.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) cluster chairperson, Lucinda Evans, said it takes a community to protect children. “I am demanding our community stand up and protect our children. Our children in Lavender Hill have been put at risk. If we believe ‘my child is your child’, then please help us. The impact of this crime against our children and school is huge and there are huge damages,”she said.

Ms Evans also appealed to those who buy stolen goods. “One of your family children attends Hillwood Primary School, or your own child, think about that. It’s the same school where the ones who burgled the school had disrupted the lives of over 800 children. How are the children going to use the toilets at school?

“We can’t allow a few individuals now to disrupt our children’s schooling. Let us know where the pump is and if you bought the stolen pump please give it back to the school,”she said.

She also encouraged the community to report those who vandalise and burgle schools. “I am very disappointed and heartsore for our children and school,” she said.

Sergeant Wesley Twigg said a case of housebreaking and theft was reported and is being investigated. The incident happened between Friday May 31 from 6pm and Saturday June 1.

“The community is requested to come forward with any information that may lead to the arrest of these perpetrators,” Sergeant Twigg said.

Anyone with information can contact Steenberg SAPS on 021 702 9000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.