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Dozens of computers stolen from Orem elementary school

By KSL.com | Posted - Dec. 14, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.


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OREM -- Children at Foothill Elementary School in Orem are getting their last few lessons of the year the old fashioned way after a burglar stole their computers.

The break-in happened some time Sunday evening or early morning. A custodian entered the school at 6 a.m. Monday and noticed debris in the hallway. Then he spotted several broken off door knobs, so he called police and the principal.

Alpine School District spokesperson Rhonda Bromley says seven doors on the inside of the building had been broken to enter various rooms. They found a forced entry on one exterior door.

The schools camera, 14 desktop computers and 32 laptop computers were all gone.

The laptops were used as a mobile computer lab that was used by all the students at the school. They had been stored in two carts and locked up in what school officials thought was a very secure place.

"Students have a tendency, children especially, to just have this inherent trust, and that trust has definitely been shattered," said Bromley. "They were very, very sad and angry about what had happened. This is certainly the time of year when people are thinking about doing things for others and giving to others, and it's a shame to think that someone would take advantage of children like this."

Bromley estimates the break in will cost the school a total of $60,000. Most of the damage has been fixed. The school plans to replace at least some of the computers by the time the kids return from winter break, but the hope is they'll be found first.

"I wish whoever did this could have seen what I saw at the school yesterday and looked into the faces of these kids," Bromley said. "They were so sad and their trust has been broken. They were angry and sad. It's heartbreaking."

This school does not have surveillance cameras, but that may change in the future. The school does have serial numbers for all the stolen items so that may assist police track them down.

Notes were sent home with the students explaining what happened to the computers and asking if anyone saw anything suspicious around the school Sunday night. Anyone with information on the burglary should contact Orem police at 801-229-7070.

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Story compiled with contributions from Randall Jeppesen and Sandra Yi.

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