Young person allegedly involved in school theft

CCTV footage of people at Waimairi School where six fire alarm and school bell speakers were...
CCTV footage of people at Waimairi School where six fire alarm and school bell speakers were allegedly stolen last week. Image: Supplied
Police are investigating the late-night theft in which a child appears to have been involved.

Waimairi school’s CCTV cameras captured the incident that saw six fire alarm and school bell speakers stolen at about 11.30pm last Tuesday.

School Principal Mike Anderson said one of the people caught on camera appeared to be "quite young".

Possible identities of those involved had been passed on to the police to follow up.

CCTV photos were shared to the school’s Facebook page with a message asking people to get in touch if they thought they could help identify anyone, a method that seems to have been successful.

Anderson said he believed he had a good idea of who was responsible, although identities have not been confirmed.

He felt frustrated by the incident, he said.

The school would need to replace the stolen speakers, including hiring technicians to install them, and the cost could be "in the thousands".

"Schools have tight enough budgets as it is, we really don’t have the budget to be doing this."

Waimairi School. Photo: Star Media
Waimairi School. Photo: Star Media
Anderson noticed the theft early the next morning when the bell failed to ring as usual.

However, disruption in the school schedule was minimal.

They were now using air horns in place of a bell, as the school already had this leftover from post-earthquake construction work.

Other fire alarms at the school had not been affected and so the theft did not pose a fire safety issue, Anderson said.

He believed it was likely the speakers were stolen so young people could attach them to their bikes and play music from them.

"That’s what they’ve been doing. It’s fairly common knowledge in schools across the country."

Although he had heard of it happening in other schools, it was the first time such an incident had occurred at Waimairi School, and he hoped it would be the last.

Police were continuing to make enquiries to locate the offenders, a police spokesperson said.

Christchurch North Community Patrol chairman Sam Hall said although there had been a few incidents in the Jellie Park area, young people were not generally causing trouble in the patrol area.

"We’re always looking for that sort of thing," Hall said.

"It’s on our taskings to look out for, but we haven’t come across anything."

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