Man burglarizes school overnight in Little Havana

More than $5,000 stolen from safe, police say

MIAMI – A man was captured on surveillance video overnight breaking into La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, authorities said.

Police said the man stole more than $5,000 that was being kept for students who had paid for field trips and other activities.

Surveillance video shows the man taking a safe at about 1 a.m. at the school at 2480 NW Seventh St.

Police said the burglar ransacked several rooms before smashing the glass door to an office where the safe was. Officers said the man searched for the key to the safe for more than an hour, and then gave up and took the lock box.

At one point, the man appears to notice the camera and grabs a tool from his backpack to break the surveillance device. 

Teachers who were the first to arrive after the burglary called police, who dusted for fingerprints and sifted through the mess for clues.

Detectives said the burglar crawled through a ceiling to get over a door that was locked with a dead bolt.

"To me, it's very sad," school director Aiyleen Hernandez said. "I mean, most of our kids, 99 percent of our kids are on scholarship programs, so they are funded by the state, and it's a big deal for them because this is money that they saved."

School officials hope insurance covers the damage and can cover the money that was stolen. They also canceled classes for the day as a precaution.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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