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Thieves take $8K in school equipment

Posted: May 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Thieves who broke into Wiley Canyon Elementary School in Newhall and made off with laptop computers and digital projectors have set back the cash-strapped school district about $8,000 in replacement costs, officials said Friday.

The break-in occurred sometime last weekend between 5 p.m. April 29 and 7 a.m. Monday, according to a report filed at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. The thieves removed windows on three classrooms near the back of the school by first taking off the windows’ weather-stripping material.

Three Dell laptops and three Sansui digtal projectors were stolen in what Newhall School District officials suspect was a targeted attack.

The burglars would have needed a screwdriver and wrench to remove the projectors, which are secured to the ceiling by a bracket, according to Michael Clear, assistant superintendent of business services.

“They knew exactly what they wanted,” Clear said. “There was no vandalism. These were not like some kids that were breaking and entering. They knew what they wanted.”

Surveillance cameras are not located where the classroom break-ins occurred, Clear said. Deputies dusted for fingerprints and officials are working on ways to make the windows more secure so a similar break-in does not occur in the future, he said.

Meanwhile, the money to replace the stolen electronics will come from school and district funds, Clear said.
“It definitely impacts what we do,” Clear said. “It’s all purchased by the school.”

The Newhall School District has been struggling with cuts in state funding for years.

On May 3, the governing board of the district took action to lay off 16 permanent classroom teachers from across the district.


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