COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police (CPD) is conducting an investigation after more than a dozen cars were broken into at a school parking lot during the school day.
17 cars had windows broken and a couple had belongings stolen from them, according to CPD. This all happened Friday morning outside Linden STEM Academy, while school was in session.
“When I was up there you could see look in the teachers’ eyes just really upset,” said John Coneglio, president of the Columbus Education Association. “But then again they were doing a professional job in the classrooms still making sure these kids are learning and they’re doing their best, but it is demoralizing.”
Coneglio went to the school Friday after hearing about what happened.
“They’re just upset this happened and then they made some suggestions about what they’d like to see happen,” Coneglio said.
Some of the cars belong to teachers and some to other school employees, according to Coneglio.
“It gets frustrating because you think you’re in your environment and your vehicle is safe where you’re at, but some days things happen,” said Lois Carson, president of the Columbus School Employees Association.
A spokesperson for Columbus City Schools said the district’s safety and security team is working with police to monitor the area. A suspect or suspects have not been identified, according to CPD. Both Carson and Coneglio said members at other schools have dealt with similar incidents in the past.
“I can give multiple examples, incidents that have happened within the last year or two about teachers’ cars being broken into in their parking lots, their catalytic converters being sawed off during the school day,” Coneglio said. “These incidents aren’t happening in the school but it’s happening outside and it affects teachers.”