$3,000 in cash and property stolen from Unaka High School

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

Sometime over the weekend, an unknown person or persons entered Unaka High School and stole more than $3,000 in cash and property from the school's office.
   The perpetrators entered the school and broke into a closet located in the office and removed a portable safe valued at $200. The safe contained approximately $100 as well as three Wal-Mart credit cards and a White's credit card.
   Also stolen were two VCRs, a laser disk player, two digital cameras, a two-way radio, a megaphone, an Iomega Zip drive and various computer software programs.
   According to John Fine, principal at Unaka High School, he believes that all of the items were still in the building on Friday.
   No forced entry was made anywhere to the school building or the office other than the entry made into the closet. "Nothing was tore up," Fine said.
   According to Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Loretta Cloyd, who is the Resource Officer at the high school, the closet door had been pried open. "It looked as if it was just popped open with some kind of tool," she said. "Before they left, they shut it back." She added that she does not know how the perpetrators entered the building without force.
   Fine and Cloyd both said that all the doors to the building were locked when the staff came to work on Monday morning.
   The safe that was stolen was kept in the bottom of the closet. "You couldn't see the safe when you opened the door," Cloyd said. "It was someone who knew the safe was there. They took it out completely."
   Cloyd stated that she felt that this crime was not done on the spur of the moment. "If I had to bet, it was planned," she said, citing that the individual or individuals who broke in knew where everything was kept.
   Unaka High School is equipped with video surveillance cameras which continuously tape activities inside the school and outside on the premises as well. The tapes are on a time lapse system where the recording rotates in a cycle capturing a view from one camera at a time for a number of seconds and then switching to another camera. However, the surveillance equipment will not be able to aid officers investigating the break-in.
   The subjects who broke into the school removed the surveillance tapes from two of the recorders and also stole a Phillips TVR842AT time lapse VCR used to record the video footage, according to Cloyd.
   In addition to the equipment that was stolen, those responsible for the crime also entered a storage area used to keep medication belonging to students and stole a bottle of Adderall, a Schedule II narcotic used to treat people who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. Cloyd stated that there were other medications stored with the Adderall, but that none of the other bottles had been disturbed.
   "They took my keys, too," said Fine. The keys were on a ring which contained several keys to the building and was stored in Fine's office.
   "We have to go through and change every lock in the building now," said Cloyd.
   The investigation into the incident has not concluded. CCSD Investigator Audrey Covington, who is with the Criminal Investigation Division, is handling the case.