NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - A broken lock on a cabinet labeled iPad tells the basic story of what happened at River Ridge Middle School. When students arrived this morning, they were quickly ushered through one open gate and funneled into the gymnasium.
That's when Principal Jason Joens told the students what had happened.
"Our school was broken into and I'm very disappointed. And many of them did show concern with that," said Joens.
In Building 23 where there are no alarms, a window was busted out to gain entry. Thieves went from class to class breaking the glass in each door to get in. Some vandalism took place in a few rooms. A number of iPads and other electronics were stolen; along with some Halloween candy.
"That's not right at all. Because that hurt a lot of people," said 8th grader Paige Batson.
Batson was one of more than 500 students who left with parents while deputies continued to process the scene, leaving parents just as upset.
"It's absolutely ridiculous and absurd," said parent Cheri Klawitter.
Although River Ridge Middle School is where someone broke into thirty-one classrooms, it was just one of three schools that was burglarized over the weekend in Pasco County.
Chasco Elementary had portables that were burglarized; while a concession stand just down the road at Ridgewood High School was hit too. Sheriff Chirs Nocco feels the crimes are probably related, are the work of more than just one person and he's confident there will be arrests.
"Those people that were involved, make no mistake about it, somebody's going to dime you out. You know, somebody's going to talk about it," said Nocco.
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Southbound Dale Mabry is closed at Walnut Street (2 blocks north of I-275) after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a fuel tanker Friday morning.