School rebounds after thieves hit

Jack participated in the Clermont fun run to raise money for his school.
Jack participated in the Clermont fun run to raise money for his school.

A GROUP of youths who broke into the Clermont State School headmaster’s office over the Easter and Anzac Day break, making off with $800 cash, and thousands of dollars in electrical equipment and adidas fun run prizes have been caught, police said.

The thieves made multiple attempts to gain access to the administration building through the windows, eventually gaining entry to the building via the principal’s office by bending metal louvres.

The offenders stole an iPod Touch from the principal’s desk, also taking the master key from the desk draw, using it to gain access to the rest of the administration building including the strong room.

The offenders took 12 Apple iPod Touches, a camera, laptops, portable radios and $800 in cash along with the prizes from the adidas fun run including a cricket set, remote control mini helicopter and scooter.

Clermont SS principal David Routh said about half a dozen prizes were left from the recent fun run to be awarded to students at the beginning of term two.

Students raised more than $10,500 as part of the adidas fun run and in return were awarded prizes according to the amount of money each individual raised.

Mr Routh praised the efforts of police who were able to recover half of the items but also praised the organisers of the fun run who replaced the stolen items when they heard the news.

“It is absolutely brilliant,” he said. “They said no problem and replaced the stolen prizes with brand new ones, free of charge.

“They were incredibly generous and we are very grateful, everyone got their prizes.

“Nobody missed out.”

Clermont police officer in charge Sergeant Rob Maragna said police apprehended five offenders, a 18-year-old male and four juveniles for the break-ins and thefts. The 18-year-old was charged with break and entering and theft and will face Clermont Magistrate’s Court.

The four juveniles have been dealt with.

But the school will have to remain on high alert as early last Friday morning about 3.45am the school was broken into again, in what principal Routh described as another kick in the stomach, “hurting a lot of people involved”.

This time thieves, driving an old utility, made off with the ride-on mower.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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