GARDAÍ have set up extra patrols near schools in west Cork after three primary schools were broken into in recent days.
The schools in Ballyheda, near Ballinhassig; Desert, near Enniskeane, and Dripsey were burgled on Saturday over a number of hours.
In each case, windows were broken and the burglars managed to take a small amount of petty cash.
The raiders entered the principal's offices in the three cases.
However, it is thought the gang had hoped to find more cash in the schools.
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan is appealing to school principals to ensure that cash is not left in schools when they are vacant.
He encouraged schools that do not already have online payment systems to set them up.
He said: “We had a few of these type of crime as well a few years ago, targeting schools.
"We are appealing to principals in schools to set up online payment systems. The majority of schools do have them now.”
He urged anyone who spots unusual or suspicious activity in the area of schools to contact local gardaí.