Col­lege has had enough

North Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

‘‘I just want the com­mu­nity to know they’re tak­ing away from the kids’’

A North Waikato high school prin­ci­pal has re­sorted to of­fer­ing a cash re­ward to help catch the thieves tar­get­ing his school.

In the lat­est in­ci­dent, on Au­gust 13, 18 moun­tain bikes were stolen from Huntly Col­lege.

Prin­ci­pal Tim Foy has had enough.

‘‘Gut­ted, ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated, I’m just so dis­ap­pointed... they (thieves) con­sider this a su­per­mar­ket, that they can just take what they want.’’

The bikes were al­most new - and were re­place­ments for five oth­ers stolen in Jan­uary.

Foy is now of­fer­ing $500 cash in ex­change for in­for­ma­tion to help to con­vict the of­fend­ers re­spon­si­ble.

Peo­ple knew who the cul­prits were, he said, but the fear of be­ing a ‘‘nark’’ was very real in Huntly.

He’s hop­ing his of­fer of a re­ward will send a clear mes­sage that crime like this is hurt­ing his stu­dents.

‘‘I just want the com­mu­nity to know they’re tak­ing away from the kids.’’

Foy said the bikes were well used - the school was known for its suc­cess in sports. And stu­dents were able use them to gain NCEA cred­its.

Foy doesn’t know if the school will be be able to buy more bikes as the in­sur­ance ex­cess has now sky­rock­eted to $5000.

Theft and van­dal­ism have al­ways been an is­sue at the school dur­ing Foy’s 13 years in the role as prin­ci­pal. But over time it’s es­ca­lated.

This year alone, more than $20,000 has been spent on fix­ing van­dal­ism, cov­ered by the school’s van­dal­ism grant through the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

With only about $7000 in that grant, the school of­ten has to ap­ply for a top-up.

It doesn’t mat­ter what se­cu­rity mea­sures were put in place though, the school was still tar­geted, Foy said.

After an en­tire wall was ripped off the build­ing to get to the first lot of bikes, more col­lege cash was spent on build­ing a steel cage which was welded to a brick-clad shed to se­cure them.

But still the thieves got to the bikes.

Sergeant Neil Mouncher of the Huntly po­lice said in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the theft had come to a halt due to lack of leads.

Mouncher said he un­der­stood Foy’s frus­tra­tion but un­less there was new in­for­ma­tion from the public, po­lice would not be able to in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther.

CAITLIN WAL­LACE/STUFF

Huntly Col­lege prin­ci­pal Tim Foy is sick of the school be­ing tar­geted by thieves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.