Four Schools, Eight Burglaries, Thousands in Damages - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Four Schools, Eight Burglaries, Thousands in Damages

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Four schools, eight burglaries. Police continue to investigate a string of break-ins at Bay District Schools leaving more than eight juveniles in custody and one still on the loose.  

"Everybody was really upset," said Springfield Principal Harriet Taylor. "Especially the kids."
 
Taylor says the kids took the events personally. That's why when she offered a reward for information it didn't take long to put faces to names.

"We came and rallied together as a team so we could find out who did it," said Taylor. "So, we could put a stop to it."

Parker Police, Springfield and Panama City arrested a group of kids they say are responsible for multiple burglaries.  
Two of them, Brothers Terry and Dontaye White, were involved in break-ins at every school. Among the items stolen were everything from iPads, digital cameras, and cash. Now, authorities are making sure the buck stops here.  

"That's the big thing is that we asked them to go behind the teachers and make sure the classrooms are locked and in this case almost every one was forcible entry," said Springfield Chief of Police Philip Thorne. 

The juveniles actually used hammers to gain access into the classrooms and those locks and handles have since been replaced. Teachers have been asked to use extra precautions when leaving their classrooms.  

"Don't leave anything lying around in the classroom,s make sure everything is locked up and secured, and just listen to the students if someone needs to talk," said Taylor. "Take the time to listen to them and just get that focused back on learning." 

Back to learning and getting back to the day to day school routine. At such an influential time in their lives Taylor says she's using the events as a learning tool for students. 

"It's a teachable moment," said Taylor. "We talk about why someone would want to do this to a school, especially this is  school, and we come here to learn and hopefully they are going to set goals that they wont ever do anything like that." 

Those involved in the burglaries are charged with a number of crimes including grant theft, felony criminal mischief, and burglary.