The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying those responsible for a half dozen burglaries at Carrie Ricker School in Litchfield.

Interim Sheriff Ryan Reardon said the latest burglaries, which occurred Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, make a total of six break-ins that have occurred at the school since Oct. 30. The burglars have taken big-screen televisions, cash and miscellaneous items that school officials say total thousands of dollars in losses.

“It’s very frustrating,” said James Hodgkin, superintendent of Regional School Unit 4, which includes Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales. “When you’re stealing from the schools, you’re stealing from the community. You’re stealing from the kids.”

Reardon said measures taken by his office and the school to increase security and catch the thieves in the act have proved unsuccessful.

He said Wednesday police are hopeful the public will come forward with information to help.

“It’s someone that’s very familiar with the school,” Reardon said. “We’re looking at that angle.”

The most recent burglary was discovered by a maintenance worker a little before noon Saturday. The thieves took a 46-inch television and one of the game cameras the school had set up for additional security. Hodgkin said it was the second game camera the burglars have stolen. The burglars have taken four televisions in addition to spare change and food, Reardon said.

“Electronics seem to be the focus,” he said.

In addition to those losses, the school has been damaged by the burglars while they were breaking into the building. Windows and doors have been pried open and smashed during the burglaries. Hodgkin estimated the total loss exceeds $3,000.

Reardon said detectives also are looking into a recent burglary at the American Legion post on Plains Road in Litchfield. The burglars in that case also stole a large television. Reardon said he thinks the same person or people are responsible for all the burglaries at the school and at the Legion.

Reardon said deputies have been stationed inside the school at different times in hopes of catching the burglars. Deputies also have increased patrols in the area in between answering other calls. Reardon recalled one night when a deputy checked the building several times before leaving the area for an hour to answer another call.

“An hour after he checked it, he came back and there was an open window,” Reardon said. “We will eventually get this person.”

Principal Christine Lajoie-Cameron said teachers depended on the stolen televisions for their lessons.

“They no longer have those,” Lajoie-Cameron said. “We’re down to one.”

She said the school is hesitant to replace the televisions immediately for fear they will be stolen again.

“It keeps happening,” she said. “They’re obviously looking for money and things to trade for money.”

Reardon thinks someone in the community has information that will lead to an arrest.

“Somebody had to have seen something,” he said. “Somebody knows something.”

Reardon asked anyone with information about the break-ins to call the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office at 623-3614 or anonymously email information to [email protected]

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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