NEW PORT RICHEY — Burglars broke into three Pasco County schools over the weekend, ransacking classrooms and stealing computers.
The worst damage was at River Ridge Middle School, where the windows of 31 classrooms were smashed, leaving a hail of broken glass.
Among the stolen items were 15 iPads and several iPod Touches purchased with money raised by the student council, said principal Jason Joens. The students plan to hold a fundraiser in the next few weeks to replace the items, Joens said.
The burglars also stole laptops from several portable classrooms at Chasco Elementary School, and broke into the concession area at Ridgewood High School, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.
Forensics units spent Monday processing the schools to find out what else was stolen and who might be responsible. Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said no alarm systems were activated this weekend in relation to the burglaries.
"We're trying to find out when the break-ins occurred," Nocco said.
While deputies investigated on Monday, students at River Ridge Middle were moved out of affected classrooms and into the school media center and gym. Although instruction was continuing, school district officials said, parents picked up more than 200 children and took them home.
Anyone with any information about the burglaries may contact the Pasco County Sheriff's Office at (727) 844-7711, or provide a tip at pascosheriff.com or the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
"We want to find out who did this," Nocco said.