“They emptied the kitchen of all the groceries that were supposed to be used to prepare food for the children for the rest of the month.”
THE HELEN Joseph early childhood development (ECD) centre in Galeshewe has suffered a series of break-ins recently, where the latest incident took place during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The principal of Helen Joseph ECD, Grace Mgoma, said the suspects stole goods to the value of around R3,000.
“They emptied the kitchen of all the groceries that were supposed to be used to prepare food for the children for the rest of the month. We will have to find a way of providing meals. For some children, this is the only sustenance that they receive for the day. They also stole the microwave, blankets, chairs and training material,” said Mgoma.
“We do not receive any funding, so it is a big challenge.”
Mgoma said that the CCTV security cameras had been broken and the razor fence was cut.
“We have not had available funds to fix the security cameras or hire security guards. The burglar bars and door were not damaged during the break-in, so we are wondering how they entered. We were surprised to find that the fridge and freezer had been ransacked. This is the third time that they have broken in over the past month. This area is frequently targeted by criminals. Last week the copper pipes were stolen.”
Mgoma added that they would request community crime-fighting organisation Operation Wanya Tsotsi to assist in patrolling at the ECD centre.
“Community members indicated that they would help to search for the suspects.”
Galeshewe police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said the police were investigating a case of business burglary and theft.
“There are no signs of forced entry. One suspect was found in possession of a blanket. The police are searching for him after he fled the scene,” said Kale.
He added that criminals were targeting schools and premises that were poorly lit.
“We encourage schools to make use of the stipends that they receive to hire security guards on a 24-hour basis as this discourages criminals from breaking into a property. It is also advisable to make use of J-locks to secure their premises and to prevent entry through the use of generic keys,” said Kale.