Burglars target day care centre

The burglars cut and stole the water pipes.

The Belgravia Day Centre has once again become the target of vandalism after they were robbed and the place trashed, causing damage which will cost thousands of rand to fix.

On Monday August 20, teachers noticed water running out of a classroom and when they opened the door, they found the entire room was flooded.

Burglars had stolen the tap handles and cut the water pipes, leaving the water to run and flood the building.

They also stole the microwave, kettle, children’s juice bottles, food, fire extinguishers, pots and pans, and stole the burglar bars off the windows.

Principal of the centre, Shireen Isaacs said she was at her wits’ end about what more she could do to secure the place after she had already had an alarm system installed and burglar bars installed on all the windows.

She said a few years ago the place had been broken into regularly, but this had been resolved when they upgraded their security.

Now, she says, it’s as if the nightmare has started all over again.

“We had to close the school on Monday and the parents were left stranded with their kids because of the break-in.

“It is so frustrating and heartsore. They really think nothing of us by damaging our place like this and stealing the children’s things.

“You try to build and make the place better but they just break you down,” she said.

Ms Isaacs said she feared further damage to the centre as the tiles had started lifting in the bigger classroom because of the water damage.

Two weeks ago electrical wiring had been stolen. “It is costly to repair all this damage. We are urging the community to keep their ear on the ground and tell us if they have seen anything.

“The children’s education is so important but they just don’t care. I don’t understand why they want to keep doing this. They get away with it and we are the ones who have to sit with the thousands of rands of damage,” said Ms Isaacs.

She said last Monday some of the children’s parents cried when they saw the extent of the damage.

The windows had been smashed with bricks, there was glass lying on the ground, the basins in the bathroom had been broken and the electric cables were hanging loose.

“We had to close the creche because there was no electricity and we had to switch off the water because it was just running. They really value nothing and think nothing of us. We had to carry out all the equipment to prevent it from getting damaged further,” she said.

Athlone police spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman said: “Police have upped their visibility in the area due to more complaints from residents and the neighbourhood watch is also active in the area.”