Spate of burglaries on Saipan

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Saipan has seen a surge in burglary and theft cases in the last few days, with a couple of public schools being victimized.

In a short interview, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Dre Pangelinan said there are currently no suspects for these burglaries and cannot confirm or deny whether the suspects could be the same for all recent incidents.

The public schools that fell victim were Hopwood Middle School, Garapan Elementary School, and Dandan Middle School. The Department of Public Works office in Lower Base was also broken into.

The most recent burglary incident was at Dandan Middle School last Monday at around 12pm but no items were reported missing.

At the scene, police met with a school staff who led police to the school’s library entrance, where the shutters had been opened.

As officers approached the library door, they noticed a silver knife lodged between the locks of both doors.

Also last Monday, at about 9:10am, DPS responded to a theft incident at GES. Items reported missing include a silver-colored power bank, a black charger cable, and a small amount of money taken from the library’s late return fee.

Upon arriving at the scene, police met with a school staff who led police to the vice principal’s office where police noticed tables within the office that had been moved around, with drawers and cabinets left opened.

Last Saturday, at about 5:39am, police responded to a burglary and theft at Hopwood’s temporary campus in Koblerville. A total of 21 tents that were being used as temporary classrooms were found to have been slashed open and items reported missing include a small amount of money, office supplies, a Sony wireless headphone, and a Samsung A30 cellphone.

Upon arriving at the scene, police met with security personnel who stated that multiple temporary classrooms had been cut open. According to the security, their last security perimeter walk was conducted at about 3am and, at that time, no tents had been damaged yet.

When security conducted another walk around the campus at about 5:30am, they noticed a few tents had been slashed open and immediately called for police assistance.

Police also responded to a burglary and theft incident at the DPW accounting office in Lower Base last Monday at about 7:29am.

Items reported missing include a few company checks worth about $2,500 and approximately $4,000 in cash.

Once police arrived at the scene, the caller directed them inside the office, where they noticed a gray safe that appeared to be out of place in the hallway. Drawers in a couple of other offices had also been opened, with items scattered throughout the room.

As officers made their way toward the accounting office, they noticed that the doorknob had been forced open, all the drawers had been opened, and a drawer containing a few checks had been pried open.

Further investigation revealed that suspect(s) may have gained entry through a second-floor window.

DPS is encouraging the community to call 911 with any leads on any of these burglary and theft incidents. For those who would like to remain anonymous, call the CNMI Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for any information leading to an arrest.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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