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More information released on North Central break-ins

Posted: January 13, 2011 4:49 p.m.
Updated: January 14, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) has released more information about break-ins at two North Central schools in the hopes of catching the perpetrators.

Video footage shows three suspects breaking in to North Central Middle School (NCMS).

Wednesday, it was reported that someone had broken into both North Central high and middle schools late the night of Jan. 6 or during the early morning hours Jan. 7. Damage to both schools was estimated at $30,000, with most of the information focusing on North Central High School (NCHS).

The C-I has now obtained more information about what happened at NCMS -- including a description of the suspects, thanks to the video.

According to a KCSO report, a school resource officer (SRO) received a call from an alarm company alerting him to a general burglar alarm at NCMS. The SRO went to the school, visually inspected the perimeter and checked the doors to find them all secure. However, he also noted that the alarm keypads were not on the walls. He then contacted the alarm company and advised it to contact the principal.

Just before 6 a.m. Jan. 7, deputies were dispatched to both schools in response to a break-in call from NCMS’ janitor. The SRO arrived a few minutes later and was told that several areas had been vandalized and items were missing.

Video footage shows three suspects entering through a classroom window and then proceeding through the teachers’ lounge. All three suspects are described as white males.

The first suspect is seen wearing a black jacket, black pants, black tennis shoes, a grey hooded sweatshirt, blue or black stocking cap and a white bandana covering his face.

The second suspect also wore a black jacket and black jacket, but was wearing white tennis shoes, grey or tan stocking cap and a white bandana. He was also carrying a large sledge hammer with an ax end.

The third suspect a sleeveless jacket, black pants, black sneakers, black or blue stocking cap and a black and white bandana covering his face.

According to the report, two video cameras and a digital camera along with a small amount of cash were stolen from the library. A “flip” video camera was taken from the principal’s office, nearly $60 was taken from the cafeteria manager’s office and a digital camera was takenfrom the curriculum coach’s office. A vending machine was broken into in the teachers’ lounge.

Also, an interior library room’s window was broken, three alarm panels taken off walls, three other windows broken and the principal’s office door damaged.

All of that is in addition to nearly $570 taken from NCHS where six hand-held radios and their chargers and two athletic department laptop computers were stolen. A number of vending machines were broken into there, as well.

The C-I has also learned the KCSO is investigating vandalized vending machines at ATEC while the Camden Police Department is investigating $3,000 in broken windows at Camden High School. Both of those incidents appear to have taken place around the same time, but it was unclear if they were related to the North Central break-ins.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Crimestoppers has put out a $500 reward for information in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-CRIME-SC or KCSO investigators at 425-1512.

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