Thieves repeatedly target East Palo Alto school

May 25, 2010 12:36:44 PM PDT
James Flood Magnet School in East Palo Alto was burglarized overnight and vandalized. Thieves stole equipment designed to help lift those students out of poverty and into a bright future. It's the second attack at this school.

This time the thieves got away with an overhead projector and at least one laptop, but it's what they left behind that is bothering everyone. There is a lot of damage and more anguish.

"We don't know how they came in, the blinds are all ruined. They got inside my refrigerator took eggs and smashed them on the ground," said a teacher.

The school has 13 classrooms and all of them had been broken into and ransacked, papers strewn about, desks broken into, and some books even torn apart. Most of the classrooms were broken into through the windows.

In February, thieves took 30 laptops from the school.

Police do have a witness and they are hoping more will come forward.

"We had a witness that noticed two suspects leaving the school carrying duffle bags, the witness found a police officer somewhere else in town, reported what happened and the officers responded to the school," said East Palo Police Dept. Sgt. Jeff Liu.

"It is an attack, an assault, an invasion, the children worked so hard prior to open house last week to have everything on display in the classroom, including plants to show the parents them growing, and more than half of them are now destroyed," said teacher Gerri English.

The teachers and maintenance crews spent the morning cleaning up and were able to start classes on time.

At least one teacher wants security beefed up -- starting with a better alarm system.


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