East Bay school burglarized just before school starts

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Colonial Acres School was burglarized twice before kids return back to school and the insurance company says they are not going to cover it.

UPDATE August 28, 2014: Thanks to the generosity of the community, this story has a happy ending. Since coverage of the burglaries aired on ABC7, the Hayward community came together and raised nearly $7,000 through small donations to a GoFundMe site. Then, a local Hayward business, The Russell City Energy Center and its parent company Calpine Corp., collaborated to donate the additional $3,000 needed to fully restore funds for what was stolen at Colonial Pines.

Many kids are going back to school this week, but those going to one East Bay school are returning to face a huge loss. Brand new school supplies were taken and the principal says insurance won't cover it.

The school's insurance policy carries a high deductible of $10,000 and the supplies taken totaled an amount below that, so school officials are hoping the community comes forward and makes donations.

Thieves targeted Colonial Acres Elementary School in the San Lorenzo Unified School District twice over the summer break. The first time was July 31 when someone broke into a storage closet outside a classroom.

Before the thieves busted in, boxes of supplies were stacked four-feet high, containing essential school items like glue sticks, crayons, and pencils.

"But also that's where we store our document cameras, LCD projectors. There was a new computer in there, some computer monitors," Principal Linda Santillan said.

Santillan says just weeks later, they discovered a second burglary when two storage sheds were hit. One shed was filled with P.E. equipment and the other belonged to the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program.

"So many of our students have needs beyond the classroom that we try to help with, so for them not to have their basic, their basics, it just hurts," Santillan said.

"We're a school. It's a low income neighborhood," Alberto Nodal said. He teaches bilingual kindergarten and says the burglars didn't just take supplies, but a sense of security. "You're hurting the children, their families, the people that come to school as a safe space."

Parents and students are equally frustrated.

"I feel sad because it's really important for the students," parent Reyna Orozco said.

"That's not a good thing, it's a bad thing and it made me feel a little sad," student Andrea Castro said.

Since the break-in the school replaced the locks and installed security panels on the doors. The first day of class is Monday.

The school has a GoFundMe.com site set up if you would like to help contribute.
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