Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Police puzzled by theft of safe from Bethel Primary

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2023 | 12:57 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer


THE HANOVER police and administrators at Bethel Primary School in Hopewell, Hanover have been left puzzled as to how thieves have managed to remove a safe weighing over 600 pounds from the bursar’s office, without anyone hearing or seeing anything.

The Gleaner has been reliably informed that the theft seems to have taken place between Thursday night, May 25, and Friday morning, May 26, when night watchmen were supposed to have been on duty on the school’s compound.

According to information received, several cellular phones, which were to be used as closed user group (CUG) instruments among the school’s administrators, along with an undisclosed sum of money, and other items, were in the safe.

The Gleaner has further learnt that the two night watchmen, who were scheduled to work, one from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. on Thursday May 25, and the other from 11 p.m. on Thursday May 25-7 a.m. on Friday, May 26, were both taken into custody and questioned by detectives attached to the Hanover police, this in the presence of their lawyers. Both have subsequently been released.


“It is remarkable that a safe which they had to use a crane to put in place several years ago when it was being installed has been dug out of the wall and removed from the school compound without anyone seeing or hearing anything,” one member of staff, who did not want to be identified, stated in hushed tone to The Gleaner.

Sources told The Gleaner that the job seems to have been well planned and done by professionals, as no fingerprints have been found at the crime scene by the police. All padlocks were removed from the grille on the door to the bursar’s office, and strips of wood that were dug from the door jams were removed from the scene, and as such, unavailable for evidence. No other office was broken into by the criminals. They also ransacked the bursar’s office.

The matter has also been reported to the Ministry of Education’s regional office in Montego Bay, which has subsequently sent one of its financial controllers to the school, to try and determine the amount of money that was stolen along with the safe, among other things.

When contacted, chairman of the school board, Kadian Ellis, stated that the matter has been reported to the police and an investigation is taking place.

“I am not in a position to make any statements while the investigation is going on, as I do not want to compromise the investigation in any way,” she told The Gleaner.

Operations of the school have not been affected by the theft, as classes continue on a daily basis.