Vail school reeling from theftPosted: Updated:
The Mesquite Elementary School in Vail has been broken into three times over the last three months. But the damage done, hasn't been great until the fourth break-in over the weekend.
Vandals hit the school hard, disrupting class not just for a day but for the days to come.
It was disheartening for Vail Superintendent Calvin Baker to show off the remnants of a burglary this past weekend at the Mesquite Elementary School.
"Well there would be a projector hanging up here," said Superintendent Baker.
For a school that relies on technology rather than textbooks, this hit hurts.
They had every single projector stolen out of classrooms, along with laptops and routers.
Teachers were scrambling to come up with lesson plans Monday.
"I have very creative, very good teachers, they roll with the punches and figure out what to do," said Katie Mesquite Principal Dabney.
Late friday night, burglars cut through a fence on the west side of the school to gain access. Then they ransacked nearly half of the classrooms.
When school officials found out, they hired a security firm to watch the school Saturday Night. After the security made final rounds at 5 A.M., the theives were back and finished the job on the remaining classrooms.
"It makes me angry that they have walked into our campus four times now and gone through our rooms and taken our things and the kids are suffering from it," said parent Paula Maxwell.
School officials are still building a list of everything that was taken and say the cost of replacing it all will run well above $100,000. But what was taken from this school is more than just wires and equipment. A day reserved for learning was spent wondering what happened to their school.
"This is a school that has twice been named an a plus school. It has been an excelling school for 7 years. It's a school that is the pride of this neighborhood and it should not be happening," said Baker.
Tucson police say they're processing evidence left behind by the criminals and that they'll increse patrols around the area.
School officials say the are ramping up security efforts too, but don't want to discuss the details.