Grassy Park schools hard hit by burglaries

Police discovered the classroom at Fairmount High School had been broken into. Intruders had gained entrance by forcing the burglar bar open and breaking the window.

Fairmount High School and De Duine Primary School have been hard hit by crime, including burglaries, vandalism and the injury of a security guard over the weekend.

Fairmount High principal Terrence Klassen said the school not only suffered loss of equipment but also damage to the school property that may take a while to replace.

“In our toilets where the copper, flush-masters, taps, hand-basins, toilet pots were damaged and all the electrical wires and fittings were stolen, they also committed acts of vandalism and graffiti over the weekend,” he told Southern Mail.

Mr Klassen said when the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) Safe Schools provided day and night holiday security over the Christmas period, they had not suffered any criminal incidents.

“However, this time the burglars got into the caretaker’s office and storeroom. They got away with a computer, an external hard drive, power tools, aluminium fold-up ladder and tools.”

He said the damage had been done to the locks of classroom doors, the doors themselves, and stone guards. “The inconvenience and academic loss to our learners in teaching and learning time while we are trying to make up the two-year learning loss due to Covid 19 and the lockdown is reprehensible and must be condemned by the parents and community in the strongest terms.”

“When are our parents and communities going to realise that these burglaries and theft are impacting directly on their children, brothers and sisters futures?” he added.

Captain Wynita Kleinsmith, spokesperson for Grassy Park SAPS, confirmed that a case of business burglary had been opened. “We discovered the classroom was broken into. Entrance was gained by forcing the burglar bar open and the window broken. No arrest has been made as yet.”

Kim Geduld, deputy principal of De Duine, said thieves stole copper water pipes, resulting in a water leak, on Saturday (April 2).

“However,” she said, “on Friday (April 1) they injured our security guard and came back to steal the copper the next day.”

On Monday April 4, Ms Geduld said she had contacted the security company who told her the guard had been discharged from hospital and would be opening a case at the police on Tuesday.

Bronagh Hammond, director of communications at the WCED said the incident at De Duine had not yet been reported to the Safe Schools call Centre. “The WCED had provided holiday security at the school. We will make further enquiries when schools reopen tomorrow (Tuesday April 5).”

Captain Kleinsmith urged the community not to buy stolen goods. “Grassy Park SAPS are pleading with the community to take ownership of their schools in their areas as these culprits are robbing our children of education and hampering education flow. Community must also stop buying stolen goods as it’s a criminal offence and if found in possession you will be locked up.”

If you have any information regarding the burglaries call Grassy Park SAPS on 021 700 3900.