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3 students accused in thefts at Cannella

Three Cannella Elementary students broke into the school Sunday and stole safety patrol equipment and sporting supplies, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

A brother and sister, ages 10 and 7, and another 10-year-old boy smashed a vent in a door to get into the school at 1:30 p.m., deputies said. They went into a supply room, then carried out supplies in their pockets and in a cardboard box.

Their acts were described in the police report as burglary of a structure _ a felony _ and petit theft. Deputy Chuck Haber said the State Attorney's Office and juvenile justice system would need to determine what happens next.

Possible reprimands include having the students write letters of apology or having the parents make restitution, Haber said.

The children were caught soon after they left the school, when a deputy saw them carrying the box. The equipment was valued at $200.

Cannella principal Lisa Yost said she was disappointed that the students had stolen the items, and she plans to talk to the children about how stealing is wrong. The boys are fifth-graders at the school, and the girl is in second grade.

"At this age, we're still teaching them how to behave," she said. "I don't think it's right, but I think most children at some point take something that's not theirs. They're not lost souls at this point."