Kings County elementary school hit by copper thieves again


Kings River Hardwick Elementary School -- located just north of Hanford at Excelsior and Tenth -- was hit over the weekend.

On Tuesday morning about 250 children at Kings River Hardwick Elementary School were forced to study in other rooms after thieves sliced through wires.

Larry Fritz said, "We put two or three classes, a grade level in our library and we had two other empty classrooms we moved kids into."

Fritz who is in charge of technology and operations says third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms had no power for most of the day. Kings County Sheriff deputies believe at least two suspects were responsible for causing that shutoff and costing about $6,000.00 worth of damages to the school.

Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam told Action News, "About 15 hundred feet of copper wire had been removed from the portable classrooms and another 500 feet of ground wire."

Putnam says the crooks looking to make fast cash targeted metal boxes sometime after midnight on Monday morning. While ripping out the wire the suspects also shut off power to nine classrooms, a music room and an art room, and this isn't the first time the school was hit.

Fritz added, "About two years ago they hit about four or five portables."

Staff members are worried the location of the rural school makes it easy for thieves to gain easy access.

Fritz explained, "They can come through orchards jump fences and that's usually how they can access."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.