Residential homes aren’t the only Newark buildings that have been burglarized in recent months. Three schools have been broken into in four separate incidents since mid-April, according to police records.
While the property stolen from the school sites has been minimal, police have stepped up efforts to patrol school areas, said Commander Robert Douglas of the .
Milani, Snow and Schilling elementary schools are the three schools that have been broken into since mid-April. Schilling Elementary School has been burglarized twice, with the most recent incident occurring over Memorial Day weekend, Douglas said.
Only in two instances was property stolen.
The first theft was a during burglary reported on April 18 at . Two wheel scooters and a yellow wagon were stolen from a storage shed on school property, Douglas said.
The property was worth $375 and individuals who took the items gained access by rolling a gate off of its track. There was no physical evidence found at the scene, Douglas said.
One week later, was broken into sometime between 11 p.m. on April 22 and noon on April 25. The burglars gained access by prying a side door of the school’s all-purpose room open with screwdrivers, which were left at the scene, Douglas said.
Drawers in the cafeteria and library cabinets were opened but that nothing was stolen, he said.
has been broken into twice and the incidents may be connected, Douglas said.
The school was first targeted sometime between the night of April 15 and 6:30 a.m. on April 16. Gang graffiti was sprayed inside the school near its computer lab but nothing was taken.
Schilling elementary was broken into again between May 27 and May 31. A group, believed to include gang members, gained entry into the school’s media center through a broken window, Douglas said.
At least one computer and items from the school’s vending machine that sells school supplies were stolen. Gang graffiti was tagged on the inside and outside of the school.
“It’s clear to me that the last two may be the same person(s),” Douglas said about the breaking and entering cases at Schilling elementary.
As of today, no other recent burglaries of the school sites have been reported to the Newark Police Department, Douglas said. He added that the school district has been informed of this issue.
“Our officers are aware of the burglaries and will keep an eye on the schools,” Douglas said.
Board President Charlie Mensinger said the board is aware of some of the incidents. Calls and emails to the Newark Unified School District have yet to be returned.
The recent incidents, however, are not uncommon, said Douglas, who added that the lack of taking physical property is also “very typical with juvenile crime.”
Still, he emphasized that the severity of the acts.
“You enter any building with intent to do a crime, it’s a burglary,” Douglas said.
The Newark Police Department encourages residents to report any suspicious activity or persons. Residents should call dispatch at 510-578-4237 for any situations that are not life threatening.