Bronx school burglarized for the fourth time

February 8, 2010 3:14:08 PM PST
A public school in the Bronx was struck by burglars for the fourth time. In the latest crime, thieves got $20,000 worth of computer equipment. School officials think it's an inside job and have asked for security cameras. The school is PS 89 on Mace Avenue in the Pelham Parkway section.

Cabinet shelves that used to hold laptop computers are empty now, after burglars stole them away.

"I fee really bad, because that affects the kids and the teachers and the school," student Rabeel Asif said. "They shouldn't do that."

"There was a projector...and about 16 laptops that were stolen," principal Ronald Rivera said. "So about $20,000 worth of equipment was gone."

The theft means the disruption of an important after-school program.

"The after-school really helps me with math," student Nathasha Minier said. "And to take the computers I think is so wrong."

"It is not just a computer, it is an education for the children," parent coordinator Fran Palmieri said. "It is their way to the future. It is their pathway."

And this isn't the first time the school has been hit. In October of 2007, audio-visual equipment vanished the night before a student theatrical production.

"Someone came into the building again at about the same hour and stole everything," Rivera said.

Based on at least four burglaries at PS 89 over the past several years, the Department of Education adopted plans to install security cameras, an idea pushed by City Council member James Vacca.

"I think the cameras will help us if this ever happens again in the future," he said. "But the bottom line is that anybody who does this to a public school, affecting equipment used by children should really be ashamed of themselves."