Burglars Smash Office Windows, Break Money Machine

TRAVIS HANZ-CRUZ
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Several GCC faculty and staff members were stunned to discover broken glass and desks rummagwes through when they returned to work Monday morning.

According to Business Division Chair Linda Serra, three offices in the San Gabriel building had their windows shattered and locked desks fumbled through. The assistant’s desk, located just outside the doors of the offices, was also forced open.

“I wasn’t sure what happened,” said Diane Young, a business instructor who discovered the vandalism at approximately 7:20 a.m. “[At first], I only saw glass all over the floor from [one of the offices] until I went to make copies and noticed two other windows broken.” GCC police cadets arrived promptly to inspect the scene soon after Young reported the incident.

In another incident, the computer labs in the San Gabriel building were also burglarized. A money machine was pried open and the desks of several lab technicians were broken into. A computer lab technician, who wished to remain anonymous, said this was the second time this year that their desk had been broken into. Their cabinet was also pried open.

Nidal Kobaissi, GCC Police Specialist, believes the same person(s) committed the two incidents. He also believes the windows in the business division offices were shattered by a blunt object.

It was reported that Saturday may have been the last day a faculty member was in the business division offices, and that the exterior and indoor hallway doors to both departments were reported locked.

However, Kobaissi believes it was possible that the building’s exterior doors were accidentally left unlocked, or that the crimes could have taken place as early as Friday evening.

If this is true, he says it could be possible the crimes occurred before the outside doors were locked.

GCC Police.are still trying to determine the time of the incidents, pending the return of some of the faculty.

“Nothing has been reported missing so far, but it’s still being investigated as a burglary,” said Kobaissi. “In most cases it’s vandalism.”

Surprisingly, expensive items, such as computers and printers, were not taken.

Kobaissi also said that the intention of the burglary was to take whatever money was inside the machine.

However, the machine only contained $2, since classes had not been in session the past few weeks.

GCC Police are awaiting a report of missing items, while the only item reported missing was the $2 from the machine.

Though GCC Police is following up on a few leads, no arrests have been made and there are no suspects. Kobaissi says that the investigation is ongoing.

GCC Police are relying on interviews to catch the criminals since fingerprinting is only used in cases of extreme damage.

“It costs around a couple thousand dollars to take the fingerprints and to process them through a database,” Kobaissi said.

The cost of repairing the machine was $25, while the cost for replacing the office windows has not been determined.

“It’s always a good idea to double check your doors before you leave to make sure that everything is secured,” said Kobaissi. “Often times, people find a way in because it’s an opportunity.”