High School robotics team hit twice by thieves, losing over $10,000 in equipment before big competition

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Robotics team says they lost more than $10,000 in equipment after thieves broke into the team's shed in San Francisco.

"From over here they stole computers and hand tools from the drawers. And, then up here we had a bunch of hand drivers," said senior, Alex Linhardt.

But, this was not the first theft. On Dec. 24, 2019, the team's shed was burglarized.

The 5700 SOTA Cyber-Dragons Robotic Team built a shed on school grounds, where they stored all of their equipment for an upcoming competition.

After the first break-in, they decided to add five locks to the shed. But, that wasn't enough. This time around thieves broke through a wall to get in.

"Our laptop was stolen. Laptops they need to be configured all of our code was on that laptop. We lost a lot of time. It's a lot of work," said senior, Diana Yusupova.

And, time is running out.

"Especially going into build season we only have about 8 weeks to make these robots. We're going to have to take two weeks to deal with this and that's a quarter of our time gone," said sophomore, Ernesto Fox.

San Francisco police officers arrived on the scene and found blood marks from the alleged thieves.

Several parents say they're concerned about student's safety.

"The kids are here all weekend in the evening from when school ends until who knows what hour," said parent, Mary Piontkowski.

Starting Saturday, the team will be working at one of the team member's houses, raising money for new equipment.

Last year the 5700 SOTA Cyber-Dragons won regionals, and that's their plan this time around.

"We got to keep going. We have come too far to stop now," said Fox.

Go here to donate to the team's GoFundMe.
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