Police arrest pair for school burglary

March 01, 2007 12:00 am

By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate staff writer

Two burglars arrested in Del Norte County High School early Monday morning were apprehended by one of their victims – the school resource officer.

However, this is not the only point of irony in the incident. The alleged burglars did not need to break into the school – they already had the keys.

"It doesn't matter what kind of locks you have when someone has the keys," Crescent City Police and School Resource Officer Erik Apperson said.

He said the two alleged burglars – 19-year-old Adam L. Nott and 18-year-old Christopher L. Dewitt – were arrested after receiving a tip from his superior, Sgt. Garrett Scott.

"He said he was on his way to interview an individual who had knowledge of somebody that wanted to burglarize my office," Apperson said. "When I arrived (at the high school) I was with another officer and we noticed that there had been a burglary," because he noticed items missing from his office.

"As we were investigating we found two people that were still in the high school," he said.

Nott and Dewitt both tried to flee.

"They had committed burglaries earlier that night based on what I found," Apperson said.

Most of the items Apperson found while searching Nott and Dewitt were from vehicles – CDs, uninstalled car stereo speakers, etc. He also found lock picks, flashlights and small tools typical in burglary operations.

But perhaps the most interesting item found was the set of keys that gave the thieves access to the school.

Nott and Dewitt stole the keys from an unlocked car that was parked close to the school, Apperson said.

School officials were un-available for comment, but Apperson said that anyone who works for the high school would have keys to the building, it's just a matter of what kind of access they would have in the building. For now, Apperson said he's just happy they found the keys.

"It's pretty rare in this occupation to catch a burglary in progress," he said, "It was a pretty good deal. We got lucky."

•Local schools burglarized

several times this year, A3

This is not the first time a Crescent City school was burglarized this year, Crescent City Police Officer Erik Apperson said, adding that the past year has been the worst in his four years as a school resource officer.

He said that a few weeks before this weekend's incident someone stole a computer from the high school. And on Jan. 21 someone broke into the announcer booth at the football field and stole $3,000 worth of sound equipment. Ten days after that someone broke into the Crescent Elk Middle School and took $300 of vending machine money from a coach's office.

"Burglary is just a problem for schools period," Apperson said. "There's so much property in them and, lets face it, they're not secure."