Thieves broke into nearly all of the 14 classrooms of tiny Nestle Avenue Elementary School on Monday night, making off with items it had taken the school’s PTA years to acquire through fund-raising events.
But parents and teachers said the crime would only strengthen their resolve to raise money to replace the vanished items at a western-style carnival planned for Saturday.
The burglary follows a rash of 44 break-ins throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District over Memorial Day weekend.
A television set, three VCRs, a boom box and other items were taken from the 350-student school on Nestle Avenue. The thieves also made off with $200 in cash, most of it from one class’ field trip fund, the rest from another class’ planned donations to the needy, plus various stashes of lunch money left in desks.
Principal Edward Catlatt said burglars may have gotten in between 9 p.m. Monday and 5 a.m. Tuesday through windows that were found broken.
“We’ve going to go ahead with [the fund-raiser] though. If we don’t carry on, they got us in other ways than just stealing from us,” he said.
“I just can’t tell you how devastating this is,” said Fortuna Ippoliti, president of the school’s PTA. “Typically all the money that is earned during [the fund-raisers] goes toward the following year. Now the money we’re going to make is going to have to replace everything that was stolen.”