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Break-in at Holtville’s Finley School

HOLTVILLE — A bold breaking-and-entering effort netted a thief or thieves a considerable stockpile of electronic devices when they gained entry to several classrooms at Holtville’s Finley Elementary School on March 20 after the campus was closed for the business day.

A bulletin was posted on the Internet with a photo of similar devices that were confiscated as well as an offer for a $1,000 reward for furnishing information leading to an arrest of a suspect or return of the devices, Finley Principal Lupita Perez said March 25.

“It’s been shared widely on social media not only to possibly recover the stolen items, but we’re hoping the public will help safeguard our schools,” Perez said during an interview. “We do have a security system, but multiple tools were used to gain entry to the buildings.”

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Among the items burglarized were a 60-inch television, projectors, teachers’ laptop computers with lesson plans uploaded, document cameras, laminator machines and student tablets, among other electronics.

Security Breached

All windows and doors were locked, Perez explained. The school is working with the Sheriff’s Office, and school officials were cautioned about jeopardizing the case by disclosing too much information.

But for anyone who has information regarding the burglary, Perez said they are asked to call 760-356-2929.

“I want to make a point,” Perez said. “Most of these items were due to the partnership Finley School has with local organizations. The loss is devastating. We are hoping others are more vigilant. And we hope others keep an eye out for individuals on campus who should not be there. We hope to raise awareness among other schools of the possibility of this crime happening elsewhere.” Multiple phones calls to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office were not returned March 25. The Holtville Tribune is awaiting a copy of the incident report filed at the records division and was informed that due to a backlog of requests and the coronavirus crisis, obtaining the report might take up to 10 days.

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