Equipment stolen from classrooms at Paly, Gunn

In separate incidents, laptops taken from Gunn, cameras from Paly

Someone stole six digital cameras, worth $3,600 altogether, from a Palo Alto High School classroom over the weekend, according to police.

In a separate incident reported to police Friday, two laptops, valued together at $2,200, were taken from a classroom at Gunn High School.

The Paly burglary occurred sometime between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Monday, police Sgt. Sal Madrigal said. The thief or thieves entered a science building at the school and took six cameras from a file cabinet, he said.

Madrigal said neither the classroom nor the file cabinet was locked, and there was no sign of a break-in. He said it is possible the person responsible is a student, as the school is hosting a summer science camp.

"Everyone has access to the building," Madrigal said.

The cameras were Canon and Nikon models valued at $600 each, Madrigal said.

The Gunn theft occurred between 9 p.m. Thursday (July 21) and 10:30 a.m. Friday (July 22), Madrigal said.

Unknown suspects entered Classroom 25 through an unlocked window and took two MacBook Pros, he said. Madrigal said he did not know whether the classroom is in use this summer, or why the window might have been unlocked.

A janitor working at Gunn Thursday night said he noticed two suspicious persons, a male and a female, on campus, but could not give a description.

— Bay City News Service

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

This makes me mad - for the reason stuff was stolen, of coure, and also for the fact it is the taxpayers' loss, and for the fact that reasonable care was not taken to secure this stuff. No, it should not require "training" or "retraining" for personnel to exercise common sense and secure valuables. Please.
Hire a security guard and stake out school buildings where there are high value items, and catch these thieves. This is unacceptable, whether in a poor area where all the laptops are cleared out, of PAUSD where other miscellaneous items are lifted.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Correction: OR PAUSD...

Like this comment
Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Oh, CMON!! Lock up this stuff!!!

Like this comment
Posted by inside job
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Who knew the cameras were there? Round up the usual suspects and sweat the truth out of them.

Like this comment
Posted by not again....
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Didn't I read not too long ago about this happening? I doubt it is that easy, to just "round up the usual suspects? " Not to mention probably illegal. The taxpayer money spent to replace these items will be made up by Keene cutting public safety even more....that seems to make real sense....

Like this comment
Posted by fault
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

why isn't the principal taking care of this stuff?

Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:47 am

Hold on a second... $3600 in cameras, and $0 for keys and locks? The story either isn't giving the complete picture or the school isn't taking care of its property.

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:04 am

The principal isn't there for the summer - the school is being rented by a number of camps including Hope Musical Theater and Camp Galileo. They should be responsible for replacing the cameras.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

shouldn't these valuables be locked up inside the classroom or other storage until the renters are finished with the property - now the pta will be asked to buy more ! after all aren't we an endless source of money?

Like this comment
Posted by parent2
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

So upset!! $3600+$2200 is gone just because schools are so careless!! Who is responsible for these cameras and laptops? Anyone or no one? PTA should not pay for this, but that person who is responsible should pay for it. Now, they would say that no one is responsible to just get off this. Then, the whole dept/school which use these cameras/laptops should pay for it. Or, they have to work extra hours, do community service to pay for it. Is this the way we teach our kids? If a kid lost their iphone or camera, parents would make them to do more chaos at home, say "really sorry", behave well for a while, before we buy another one for them, right? So, why not for these adults/teachers?? Do they learn any lesson from it??

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

You just know no one will be held responsible for this theft OR for the negligence that permitted it to happen.
As a taxpayer, I am getting fed up with this nonsense and irresponsibility.
But that's government (and public schools) for you.

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My suspicion is that it may well be a student who is to blame. They are the ones who know where the cameras are kept. I have my doubts that someone broke in and searched filing cabinets in the hope they would find something valuable to take.

Like this comment
Posted by I agree
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

It's the job of the principal to make sure everything is locked up, summer or not. Hold them accountable!

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2011 at 7:47 am

Two questions:
1. How did the thief know the cameras were in the filing cabinet? Is there evidence of a search for them in the classroom?
2. Why weren't the cameras locked up?

Like this comment
Posted by Denese
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

This is crazy. We had a large number of computers stolen earlier in the year from Paly, now this. Let's use common sense. Some one is in charge of this equipment. this person is responsible to ensure these items are secured properly.

It is time to start questioning staff. Who has key to what?

I am sorry but this is a diservice to the kids and now what you take money needed for other things and use it to replace this.
Some one needs to beheld accountalble for not ensuring these items were not locked up.

Start with the top going down.

Like this comment
Posted by responsibility
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

Why should the principal be responsible for this? That should be the parents of those teens if caught.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

PAUSD principals, Tech leads, Art IS', Career Tech IS', staff leadership: is there anything you could do to help this situation? While we might have insurance coverage, this situation is partly a crime of opportunity. Let's not give these kids the opportunity. It isn't good for them either.

Like this comment
Posted by Another Paly Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Everyone, now that my kids are back to school, we're getting the story from them. The cameras didn't belong to the school. They belonged to a camp renting the school. That's why they were out.

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:25 am

@Another Paly Parent: Thank you for the clarification.

Phil Winston is no dummy and is a fantastic principal who sincerely cares about the students and has improved Paly tremendously in his first year at Paly. He works well with parents AND students and is open-minded to new ideas, professional, approachable, and productive. All you who bashed him without knowing him should have your mouths washed out with soap. Shame on you.

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