Heating system damaged during break-in at Detroit school, causing building closure

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 23:17:59-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit high school was targeted by thieves over the weekend, causing major damage to the heating system.

Detroit Public Schools Community District says a man broke into Cody High School Saturday around 6:50 p.m. Students haven't been in class this week because of it.

"I am just really disturbed that this happened," said Ruth Jordan, a graduate of Cody High School.

Jordan has a special love for her alma mater. She graduated Cody High School in 1974 and her son is also an alum.

Years later after graduating, Jordan started an alumni association to give back.

"I am very fond of the school," Jordan said. "We are about to have a new school built and there's a great principal there."

She was shocked to here someone broke in Saturday night. The Detroit Public School Community District has its own police force. Chief Labrit Jackson says they have a lead in the investigation.

"The individual broke into Cody High School and stole some infrastructure that was critical to keeping the building warm," Jackson said "We have surveillance of that individual."

Police did not release the video, but they did share a screenshot showing the man's face.

Jackson says he stole copper piping from what he calls "the power plant." This a building separate from the school. The theft disabled the building's heating system.

"We take it very personally. This individual decided to prey upon students, staff and teachers over at one of our schools," Jackson said. "So now, not only has the district lost resources, but students have lost valuable education time."

The district says the man caused thousands of dollars in damage.

Thankfully, it happened over the weekend and no students were in the building.

"The students are very upset and are very hurt," Jordan said. "I talked to the principal, the kids want to get back in the school."

Jackson says the building is secure, but with the heating system in a separate location, sometimes that makes it easier for someone to break-in.

"I would just like to say someone knows who this individual is. This isn't somebody who needs to be out and about," Jackson said. "He's preying on kids. Our kids are our future, so please help us protect our future."

The district has been working to repair the damage and they say Cody High School is set to reopen Wednesday.

If you have any information regarding this person of interest, please notify Lt. Tamika Lance-Jenkins at 313-748-6015 or Detective Kelly Taylor at 313-748-6089 of the Detroit Public Schools Community District Public Safety Department. Anyone with information can remain anonymous.