Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

Three men have been held following a break-in at the Success Laventille Secondary School yesterday.

Commending police officers for their quick response in apprehending the suspects aged 16, 19 and 21 and recovering the stolen items which included several laptops used for online learning, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly condemned the unfortunate incident.

The robbery reportedly occurred around 4.30 am on January 16.

Officers of the Port-of-Spain Task Force and the Inter-Agency Task Force responded to a call that people were seen on the school’s compound and upon arrival, they found the three suspects removing several items.

Sgt Pino along with PCs Chinpire and Madeira and others were able to retrieve three HP laptops: four Lenovo laptops; one 42-inch flat-screen television; one smart document camera; one Canon printer; one HP printer; one surge protector; seven Flow water bottles; two Lasko fans; and a quantity of assorted stationery.

The suspects were detained and are expected to appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate on Monday.

Meanwhile, Gadsby-Dolly said school officials had been cooperating with investigators to identify and return the items to the school in the shortest possible time.

Indicating Success Laventille Secondary School was one of those institutions where increased security measures have been implemented due to its location in a high-risk crime district, the minister added, “This school has a greater level of security provided through the National Maintenance and Training Services than the average school is provided with, based on previous incidents which would have occurred there over the years.”

Indicating the MOE was awaiting a report from the NMTS on the incident, Gadsby-Dolly assured, “Schools continue to be provided with security to secure their plants and equipment since their physical closure.”

Education facilities at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels have been closed since March 16, 2020, after the country’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed.

The first term for the academic year 2020/2021 spanned September 1, 2020, to December 11, 2020.

The second term began on January 4 and is due to close off on March 26.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has previously said a decision to bring out Standard Five pupils at the primary level, and Forms Four to Six students at the secondary level in this academic term would be dependent on the COVID-19 statistics during the Christmas and new year periods.