Burglars hit Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto

String of recent school computer, digital-device thefts now five

Jordan Middle School on July 28 became the fourth Palo Alto school in the past six weeks to be struck by one or more burglars who took digital equipment.

The thieves smashed the window of the school's computer lab at 750 North California Ave. between 10:39 p.m. Thursday and 7:15 a.m. Friday. They stole five Apple Macbooks valued at a total of $2,500 to $4,500, Palo Alto police Agent Sal Madrigal said. The computers did not have tracking software, but evidence was collected at the scene, he said.

The burglary is the latest of a string of incidents at Palo Alto's public schools this summer.

Burglars stole an estimated $23,000 worth of computer and digital equipment from Duveneck Elementary School Monday (July 25) and took $6,000 worth of cameras and computer equipment from the school July 8 or 9.

Six digital cameras worth $3,600 total were taken from a Palo Alto High School classroom during the July 23 weekend and two laptops valued at $2,200 total were taken from a classroom at Gunn High School between July 21 and 22, according to police.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

This is getting ridiculous. School district should lock up all portable computers in a secure closet in each school or consolidate them all in one closet at the Central Attendance district office which is staffed during the summer. Computers should NOT be left at school during the summer when there is hardly anyone on campus. This happens every year. It's like leaving a laptop in a parked car in plain sight of would-be thieves. When are we going to wise up and do something about this, Superintendent Skelly!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Agreed
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Aug 3, 2011 at 9:57 am

This is now a trend. It seems like it will happen again. The district SHOULD take precautions now. How are these thousands of dollars of equipment going to be replaced in times of such horrible budget cuts? Surveillance cameras might be a nice investment before PAUSD is stripped of it's tech devices.

Like this comment
Posted by teacher
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

This district is swimming in money and negligent with regard to equipment.

Like this comment
Posted by teacher2
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:01 am

I wish we'd think about getting alarm systems. This is a waste of money and some teachers work when no one else is around at school. This is not a safe environment for that.

Like this comment
Posted by observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:19 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:21 am

Maybe the technology requests to PTSA and Site Council for the upcoming year should really be alarm systems and admin/teacher/staff training on securing valuables instead of requests for more computers, cameras, etc. I hope the parent leadership screens and plans with these thefts in mind in the coming year.

Like this comment
Posted by Seriously?!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

Ever heard of the old saying.. "You're so smart, you're stupid!" Serioulsy... Common sense here... We have some of the best schools in the country, yet common sense intelligence is surely lacking in our Administration.

This just breaks my heart and frustrates me all at the same time. Lock them up and invest security... Even a decent fire & disaster proof safe would work. Even Costco had these tall stand-up ones at one point. Laptops and camera's aren't that big.

IDK.. just do something!! Our kids suffer in the end on all accounts.

Like this comment
Posted by PV neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

Woodside Priory had a grand theft of computers, Corte Madera School in Portola Valley had the computer lab door broken and many, if not all, the laptops stolen. Tens of thousands of dollars gone. This is a very well organized and skillful group who is going up and down the peninsula making a lot of money. Computers should be removed from the classrooms over the summer and locked in a safe room inside the school. Alarm systems are probably too costly for the whole school, but a safe room where the computers can be stored certainly seems within reason.

Like this comment
Posted by means
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 3, 2011 at 11:48 am

What does this IDK mean?School offical's name?

Like this comment
Posted by Seriously?!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Posted by means, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, 11 minutes ago

What does this IDK mean?School offical's name?

~~ My apoligies ~~
It's simply a quick way of typing, "I don't know."

Similar to ASAP, that's all.

Like this comment
Posted by Alum
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

IDK means I don't know.

School's main offices do have alarm systems, at least they did when my kids were there. It would be a good idea to lock computers up in the alarmed areas on campus. High School computer labs and other areas that have things of value in them also are alarmed, so there is some alarmed/secure areas at each school that can be used for storage during the summer.

If each classroom at an elementary school has 4-6 desktop computers in it it would be a tight fit if you try to store them all in the main office (4-6 computers per room times 12+ classrooms, that's 48-72+ computers to store. Unless they have laptops now?) If they stored all the computers, from all the schools, at the district office, where would they put them all?

What I don't understand is why do thieves pick on schools? Children are getting the brunt of their actions; it's taking learning opportunities from the kids. Why do they want to hurt children? It doesn't make sense to me. But I guess thieves are only looking out for themselves, that's why they are low-life scum.

Like this comment
Posted by Cindy
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

OK, when is it going to be a priority for the schools to provide some protection/alarm/lockups for their computer and camera equipment. This is ridiculous to have so much stolen from so many schools.

Like this comment
Posted by JK Smith
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Aug 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

FYI, Jordan DOES have all its computers & high tech gear behind alarms and heavy locks. That's why the thieves only got six laptops, no doubt.

Also has security cameras everywhere, which is how the last burglar was CAUGHT. I'm sure the video records are aiding police to track down these scum...

Schools are being targeted by people who KNOW the campuses, know where stuff is located, so it's most likely students or ex-students...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

First Sunnyvale, then Australia: Mountain View's Le Plonc plots expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,480 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 36 comments | 1,996 views

Premarital and Couples: Living as Roommates?
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,439 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 803 views

A trial run
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 543 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.