Nanaimo RCMP investigating string of elementary school break-ins

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Police are investigating after three Nanaimo elementary schools were broken into in the early morning hours of Feb. 14.

Alarms at Coal Tyee Elementary, Forest Park Elementary and Departure Bay Elementary were activated between 2:30 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to a media release by Nanaimo RCMP.

“These incidents are most likely related and carried out by the same people with access to a vehicle,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “If anyone heard anything, or saw anything that could be considered suspicious between 2:00 a.m. and 4 a.m., at any of these schools, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line.” 

Police responded to the Coal Tyee break-in after a security guard observed someone running away from the school carrying a backpack. The suspect eventually dropped the backpack and inside it, a number of laptops were found, RCMP said. Police Dog Luthor and his handler quickly established a track and found two more laptops. The track eventually stopped on Sun Valley Drive. 

RCMP determined one of the school doors had been pried open. Still missing from the school are 2 Chrome Books, 2 silver laptops, 2 projectors and 2 portable Bluetooth speakers.

A door at Forest Park Elementary was also pried open, but nothing appears to have been taken, police said.

Departure Bay Elementary reported alarms around 3:30 a.m. In the morning, staff noticed two portable radios were missing from their charger stations. One of the stolen radios has a sticker of “Stella” on the back and the other has a sticker of “Natasha.” Three HP Elite Book laptops were also taken and police do not know how thieves entered the school.

An alarm was also activated at Cilaire Elementary, which is currently boarded up while it undergoes seismic upgrades. RCMP said it is not clear if anyone entered the building.

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