Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Robbers Of Queens Catholic Schools At Large - NY1

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Police searched Saturday (2/14) for whoever pulled off a series of burglaries at some Catholic schools in Queens over December and January.

Police say the spree began in December at Our Lady of Grace School in Howard Beach, which was hit again last month. St. Helen in Howard Beach, Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village and Holy Family High School in Hillcrest have also been burglarized.

In each case, police say at least one person breaks into the empty schools through a window or door and heads to the administrative offices.

In three of the five incidents, an unknown amount of cash was stolen.

The most recent burglaries happened within hours of each other Tuesday (2/10) at Our Lady of Lourdes and Holy Family.

"I think it's horrible. Catholic schools and all schools are supposed to be a safe place where children go to learn and stuff and shouldn't have to deal with robberies," said Holy Family student Patrick Mene.

"Well, it's a terrible thing. Why would you steal from a Catholic school, any school? I mean, children try to learn there, you're stealing from children," said Holy Family student Matthew Powers.

"I think it's awful because it's a place of God. People should not come in and do that," said resident Gladys Osse.

With many schools being closed this week for recess, police say the schools are even more vulnerable to thieves.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.