PORTSMOUTH--Police say someone stole 3 cameras from an elementary school after tampering with the school's air conditioning units.

When staff at Victory Elementary School came to work Thursday morning they noticed something was not right.

The air conditioning would not turn on.

Contractors discovered someone had climbed on the roof the night before and turned off each of the 20 air conditioner units.

Apart from being shut off, were not damaged.

But three surveillance cameras had been ripped from the outside of the building, leaving wires sticking out from the wall.

'I'm very surprised because that's lit up down there,' said Donna Miller, a neighbor. 'I don't understand how anyone could've gotten onto that property and did that kind of damage.'

Portsmouth police think the crooks probably turned off the AC so they could rip off the copper wiring from the units

But for some reason, police say the criminals were not able to take the valuable metal. Authorities say schools have been targeted for copper theft in the past.

Just recently there's been a higher amount of burglaries and vandalism in the city.

People living in surrounding neighborhoods say the break-ins have them keeping a watchful eye.

'If you see people that you don't normally see in your neighborhood, you need to be aware,' said Miller. 'Watch for your other neighbors, because it's getting dangerous out here.'

Police are asking anyone with information to the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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