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CORRECTION: Burglaries, vandalism reported at 5 local schools during spring break

Corrects name of one of the schools that was vandalized

Posted: April 9, 2013 5:50 p.m.
Updated: April 10, 2013 9:14 a.m.

Five Santa Clarita Valley schools were broken into, burglarized or vandalized last week during spring break, school officials said Tuesday.

Two of the schools were in the Newhall School District, where laptops were stolen and rooms were trashed on Easter weekend at Newhall and Old Orchard elementary schools, according to district Superintendent Marc Winger.

Winger said Tuesday about four laptops total were stolen from the two sites and locks had been broken on many cabinets at the two schools on either March 30 or March 31.

“We get very angry about it,” Winger said of the burglaries. “It’s a terrible thing because we have to clean up and repair and there’s an expense involved with that.”

A checkbook belonging to the student government was also stolen from Newhall Elementary School, Winger said, but the district has already taken steps to ensure the checks are no longer of any value.

Winger said school burglaries happen occasionally, especially during holidays when school sites are largely empty.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has stepped up patrols around the district as a precaution, Winger said.

Two other break-ins occurred at Hart High School and Sierra Vista Junior High School in the William S. Hart Union High School District last week, according to district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Employees at both schools are conducting an inventory to determine what was stolen and the amount of damage at the sites, Pinsker said.

Video surveillance set up at the two schools appeared to capture footage of suspects in the break-ins, she said. That footage has been given to the Sheriff’s Station to try to identify the suspects.

“Right now we’re working with the Sheriff’s Department to find the suspects responsible for these crimes,” Pinsker said.

But despite the burglary reports, most schools in the Santa Clarita Valley made it through their spring breaks unscathed.

Lynn David, assistant superintendent of business services at the Sulphur Springs School District, said no break-ins had occurred last week, but there was a graffiti incident at Mint Canyon Elementary School.

The person involved in that incident was caught at the scene by a school custodian, David said.

The Canyon Country district had placed additional security patrols around all Sulphur Springs schools after some thefts earlier in the year, she said.

“It’s a huge disappointment to us when people don’t respect that schools are supposed to be a safe place for children,” David said Tuesday.

Both James Gibson, the superintendent of the Castaic Union School District, and Joan Lucid, the superintendent of the Saugus Union School District, said Tuesday none of their schools had been broken into during spring break.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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