Copper thief causes $44K in damage at Rio Rancho schools | KOB 4
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Copper thief causes $44K in damage at Rio Rancho schools

Jen French
January 22, 2018 10:12 PM

RIO RANCHO, N.M. -- Rio Rancho Public Schools will have to make $44,000 in repairs after copper was stripped from at least 15 portable buildings. Electrical equipment, raceways and feeders were targeted.

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District spokesperson Beth Pendergrass said eight portable buildings at Earnest Stapleton Elementary School were hit on January 12. The students who had classes in the affected portables had to be relocated. Some classes even had to double up for a day until the maintenance staff could make repairs in order to restore the power.

"Removing kids from the learning situation, having them go somewhere else," Pendergrass said. "The lucky thing is that students are pretty resilient."

This has happened before. Pendergrass said someone stole copper from six other portable buildings at Vista Grande Elementary School over Thanksgiving break. Someone hit the school again on Jan. 16.

In all, the thefts have cost the district at least $44,000 in repairs.

"Then the work that has to be done to repair it and the costs associated with that," Pendergrass said. "That's money that can go to other projects that can really impact the learning for students."

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Jen French

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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