Thousands stolen from Port Richmond school safe

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March 25, 2014 2:47:46 PM PDT
An 8th grade class in Philadelphia's Port Richmond neighborhood is dealing with a devastating blow. Someone broke into their school and stole all of the cash for a special school trip.

The cash was stolen from a safe inside the St. George School in the 2700 block of East Venango Street.

Investigators say the break-in occurred sometime over the weekend.

The thieves seemingly knew precisely what they were going for and where it was. That's because when St. George School officials arrived on the scene they found the culprits had taken an entire safe that was hidden beneath a tablecloth in the principal's office.

The contents of that safe included thousands of dollars in cash and checks from a recent fundraiser, and money collected for an upcoming 8th grade school trip to New York City.

School principal Daniel Markowski says the whole thing is simply heartbreaking.

"We've been through a lot over the past couple of years and we do our best to try and do what we can to make our school successful and when things like this happen it's not just ... it's hurtful to us but also a violation of our space," Markowski said.

The thieves also took the school's security camera recording unit, so any video of the robbery gone.

Investigators tried dusting for fingerprints, but so far that effort has turned up nothing.

Meantime, Principal Markowski says he has to believe this was done by someone familiar with the school.

Markowski says, "There was no forced entry to get in here. The only forced entry was into the actual camera box ... So, it's obviously somebody who's familiar with our place."

We spoke with St. George parents who say they are nothing short of disgusted with what happened.

When news of the theft spread across the neighborhood, neighbors and businesses started donating money. In fact, they've already recouped enough money to salvage the 8th grade trip to New York City.

Still, anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact police.

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