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North Central schools vandalized

Posted: January 11, 2011 3:11 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Somebody broke into both North Central High and North Central Middle schools, caused $30,000 total damage and stole computers.

And Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews wants to know who did it.

“The first one to turn themselves in gets the best deal,” Matthews said, “but that doesn’t mean they’ll get away scot-free.”

According to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) report, deputies were first dispatched to North Central Middle School (NCMS). While they were on the way, they learned North Central High School (NCHS) had been broken into as well. Both schools are located along Lockhart Road between Cassatt and the town of Kershaw.

The report indicated a bus driver arriving at NCHS around 6 a.m. Jan. 7 to pick up a bus noticed a window broken out at an annex building. He then found a video camera on the ground by the window which was later determined to have been taken from NCMS. Later, a teacher arriving for work noticed two laptop computers belonging to the athletic department had been stolen. A drink machine was found to have been vandalized. Further investigation determined the main NCHS building had been broken into as well where another eight vending machines were vandalized.

The NCHS front office was found to have been broken into. Once inside, the unknown suspects ransacked the office and found keys providing them access to other offices. The report indicated $23 was taken from one desk and the office vault was pried open. It was later learned $550 was taken from two cash drawers. Six hand-held two-way radios and their chargers were also missing.

Matthews said there’s a good chance they’ll be able to track the thieves.

“We do have some video and we’re trying to get it enhanced to get them identified,” said Matthews.

He said he suspects either juveniles or young adults are responsible -- and that may make them more likely to turn themselves in.

“Young people get scared,” Matthews said, and then mentioned the possibility of some kind of a break for the first person to turn himself in. “But if we have to bust our behinds to track them down, we’ll be far less inclined to deal with them.”

He’s also hoping a $500 Crimestoppers reward will help.

Matthews said the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) was also broken into around the same time, but did not say the break-in was related to the North Central case. However, as at NCHS, vending machines were broken into or otherwise vandalized, he said.

Anyone with information about these break-ins may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-CRIME-SC or KCSO investigators at 425-1512.

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