Detroit School Faces Millions in Theft, Turns to High Tech Surveillance

Every high school has experienced some level of vandalism pranks. But one Detroit high school was facing a serious problem when the schools’ essential copper pipes and electrical wiring were sold to scrap yards resulting in millions of dollars of damage. After this fiasco, the school turned to high tech surveillance systems and silent alarms to catch the criminals in the act.

The criminals, which turned out to be teens, attempted to enter the school late Sunday night, when they tripped a silent alarm that the school had installed. Within minutes, officers had infiltrated the building and were waiting for the vandals. Aside from silent alarms, the school had previously installed high tech surveillance cameras after the vandalism had reached an all-time high. Since installed, the new high tech systems have resulted in more than 80 arrests since June.

“We will remain relentless in tracking down and putting an immediate halt to all those who have viewed Detroit’s schools as their personal sites for shopping sprees — be they nighttime bandits or corporate execs,” said the emergency financial manager Robert Bobb on Monday. “Anyone who tries to take resources from Detroit’s school children should be on notice.”

The district is spending about $2 million on repairs and security system upgrades in open and recently closed schools. Another $41.7 million on security is planned for new schools and others scheduled for renovations over the next five years. “We have security systems, cameras that can be monitored remotely and placed strategically within buildings,” said Craig Schwartz, district deputy police chief. “If a building is entered, we will be able to capture it on video almost immediately.”

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