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Criminals targeted schools over holiday break

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The season of giving typically corresponds with the season of stealing. While students were out for Christmas Break, campuses islandwide were subject to breakins and theft.

Breaking and entering was a common trend this holiday season, reported at schools across the island, including MU Lujan Elementary, Upi Elementary, F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle, and Simon Sanchez High School. "Wwhen you see break ins happening at the school it's your community it's all of our issue on how we can protect people's property and people's safety," said DOE superintendent Jon Fernandez.

He added that it's a community issue, noting, "It's a case-by-case issue, sometimes they're breaking to vandalize, sometimes whether older, younger, sometimes looks like they're younger, possibly students or kids, they're taking food and not anything of greater value."

In previous burglaries, the suspects got away with food, drinks, snacks, clothing, school supplies and speakers. But even with security in place they seem to get away, with the superintendent saying, "We have put in additional school security in place, cameras and sensors, and if you have a break in where they avoided all of that, it looks like it's someone familiar with the campus."

In those cases, he says they rely on the school community to be vigilant and report if they see signs of a possible break-in. "Every school has its particular challenge whether its Simon Sanchez, FBLG, M.U. Lujan, it's just working closely with the police and our community partners," Fernandez said.

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