Local News

Recent Thefts At Wake County Schools Bring Up Concerns Over Security

Posted June 15, 2000

— A thief has robbed three Wake County schools in June. Many of the thefts took place while school was going on. The incidents raise the question, "How secure are Wake County schools?"

In the past month, police say the same man entered three elementary schools in Cary and Morrisville and stole checkbooks out of teachers' desks while school was in session.

"He was indicating that he was there with his aunt to register a small child for school," says Lt. Barry Nickalson of the Cary Police Department. "That was his reason for being there."

Police say the man used people like Fred Ledwell of Durham to cash the checks. Ledwell got caught, and investigators are now after the ringleader.

"At this point we've identified our prime suspect. We are closing in on him," Nickalson says. "Investigators are actively pursuing, interviewing, interrogating him."

Morrisville Police Sergeant Dan Ennis says the suspect must consider the public schools an easy target because he kept hitting them.

Cory Duber, the schools' director of security, says Wake's 110 campuses have security cameras, electronic locks and other safety measures. He says there is only so much you can do.

"I don't think there's a taxpayer in the county of Wake who wants to see schools with barbed wire around them and electric fences," Duber says. "We still have to have an air of openness while placing security measures in the schools as well."

Police say the suspect also robbed a Morrisville business. Investigators also say that these thefts are not connected to an incident from last December whenseveral classrooms at West Cary Middle Schoolwere ransacked.

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