The Horse Has Left the Barn

Two weeks ago, thieves broke into an Oakland, Calif. elementary school and took a sophisticated sound system. It was so easy, that they returned a week later and took computers, VCRs and DVD players. In all, 19 classrooms were broken into with losses...


Two weeks ago, thieves broke into an Oakland, Calif. elementary school and took a sophisticated sound system. It was so easy, that they returned a week later and took computers, VCRs and DVD players. In all, 19 classrooms were broken into with losses estimated between $20,000 and $30,000.

The school's principal said the items will be hard to replace and one fourth grade teacher was quoted as saying the stolen computers were vital in helping the students stay academically even with those from other schools.

The police have no suspects. And the school has no surveillance cameras, making it even more difficult to capture the thieves and/or recover any of the stolen items.

Patrick V. Fiel, ADT's public safety advisor, said that cases like this usually lead to a demand from administrators, teachers and parents to add security.

"But that's a little like closing the barn door after the horse has left," he said. "It's too bad it's takes losses like these to get people to focus on security measures that can help protect not only property, but also the lives of teachers and students."

He said there are basic security solutions available to help prevent thefts such as this.

-- PSW staff

Patrick V. Fiel

Patrick V. Fiel