Repeated theft occurs at Hart district school sites

Canyon Country High School. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The William S. Hart Union High School District has been experiencing ongoing acts of theft as people are stealing “recyclable items” from the rooftops of school sites, according to district officials. 

In the last four months, the district has seen between $14,000 and $15,000 worth of theft of recyclable materials from the rooftops of multiple school sites, according to Carle Manley, director of maintenance for the district. 

“Whoever’s doing it is going from site to site and going up on the roof during hours the maintenance crew or school staff aren’t there,” Manley said. “It seems like they’re taking anything that’s recyclable from there.” 

Manley said the district has contacted the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station regarding the ongoing incidents. For its part, the station has yet to see evidence of a ring or coordinated crew, with respect to the thefts, per station officials. 

“There (have) not been any consistent reports of any pertinent school districts having thefts. There are sporadic cases, but nothing linking at the moment,” said Natalie Arriaga, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station. 

The district has seen other continuing acts of theft, Manley said, with respect to backflow devices, which are a part of a building’s water system and have been stolen repeatedly in the span of four years. These also have value as recyclable materials. 

“We installed cages around these devices so the theft would stop, but we can’t install a cage on the roofs of the buildings,” Manley said. 

He added the school sites experiencing the theft are surrounded by neighborhoods, and asks for anyone witnessing suspicious activity to call local authorities. 

“Maintenance workers only work on the weekdays during normal business hours,” Manley said. “Anyone at the school sites outside of those hours aren’t up to any good.” 

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