Criminals start targeting schools for tablets
Criminals have started targeting schools for tablets rolled out as part of Gauteng education department's pilot project to modernise classrooms.
Steve Biko Secondary school in Hammanskraal, North of Pretoria, became the first school to be hit when six men held up community patrol team on Thursday and stole 40 tablets, cell phones as well as an undisclosed amount of cash.
The robbers struck barely a month after Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi launched the project. This is despite Lesufi emphasising that it would be pointless to steal the tablets since they could only be used for educational purposes.
Launching the Big Switch On Pilot project in Tembisa, Lesufi said the gadgets were fitted with state-of-the-art tracking technology which would enable them to be recovered within 24 hours. All high schools in the province will go paperless by 2019.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Makgotso Mphenyeke said the two patrol members guarding the school were accosted by six men and held at gunpoint as others gained entry into the storage room through a window just after midnight.
“They were ordered into one of the classrooms at gun point, tied with a piece of wire before the suspects broke a window into the store room. They then opened the safe and stole 40 tablets, cash and cell phones belonging to learners,” she said.
Mphenyeke said they were yet to establish the amount of stolen cash and the number of stolen cell phones. She said they were still puzzled how the men opened the safe.
“We are investigating a case of business robbery as this is a school not a residence. No one has been arrested,” she said.