College has had enough
‘‘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.
Huntly College principal Tim Foy is sick of the school being targeted by thieves.