Laptops stolen from Berkeley elementary school

November 29, 2010 7:39:02 PM PST
Police say thieves broke into LeConte Elementary school in Berkeley over the Thanksgiving holiday, made their way into the library and stole student laptops.

Students and teachers returned to school Monday to find that a number of doors had windows broken and four laptops were missing from a locked case inside the library. School officials say it appears the thieves knew exactly where the laptops were stored, since only doors leading to the library were disturbed and nothing else was taken.

Berkeley police say school district officials reported the break-in after 10 pm on Tuesday, the last day of classes before the Thanksgiving break.

"Unfortunately, this type of thing does happen to many schools, especially during the long holiday weekend," said Le Conte principal Cheryl Wilson. "It has nothing to do with safety for the students. It's about safety for the school, especially during the long holiday, because schools seem to be targets at that time."

It's not the first time this has happened to LeConte. A few years ago, thieves broke in and stole cameras and other equipment. In the last break-in, the thieves never made it to the laptops. This time they walked away with four computers and seemed to walk right by others in plain view.

The damage will be repaired soon, but the lessons learned will last longer. The school is thankful more wasn't stolen from their students, and hopeful that whoever took the laptops really needed them.

"You got to realize everybody has to survive one way or the other, and unfortunately, they have to survive on somebody else's demise," said school volunteer Ms. Hammonds.

Thieves also struck the Peninsula city of Belmont where 25 Apple MackBooks and 30 iPod Touch devices were stolen during a break-in at Carlmont High School over the holiday weekend. The loss is estimated to exceed more than $50,000. It is unknown if the two cases are related.


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