EIGHT electronic projectors have been stolen from Hillman Primary School classrooms since mid-November, with two more stolen last Thursday.
The projectors, which are used daily by students to operate their electronic whiteboards, cost between $2000 and $3000 each to replace, depending on how much damage the thieves have done to the wiring.
In several cases the thieves have not taken all the equipment required to operate the projectors, but have taken enough to render them useless; forcing the school to face a six to eight-week wait to replace them. Since November 18, eight projectors have been stolen from the school.
Principal Wayne McKay told the Courier that thieves managed to force their way into the school using a crowbar.
“We’ve put extra locks on the side of the doors to try and prevent that but it’s hard as we need to still enable staff and students to get out easily in the event of an emergency,” he said.
“Essentially, for up to two months after these items are stolen, our children are without an important learning tool.”
Mr McKay said parents had been an “outstanding” help by remaining vigilant about anything unusual occurring on school grounds.
Rockingham police officer-in-charge Senior-Sergeant Stuart Mearns urged people to report suspicious behaviour around local schools.
He also encouraged all organisations and households to engrave, photograph and record the serial numbers.
“A lot of the property that’s stolen is exchanged for cash and other items, so if you can mark your items up clearly it will make it more difficult to get rid of, and less appealing to steal,” he said.