Thieves Hit Pennsylvania School for Significant Computer Theft

SHARON HILL, Pa. (AP) - Thieves used fire extinguishers to break the door handles off locked rooms and stole 16 Apple iMac laptop computers and a Dell 15-inch flat-panel monitor from Academy Park High School, officials said.

The theft of the computer equipment, valued at $24,500, was discovered as teachers and students returned Tuesday from the Memorial Holiday weekend.

"The breath was sucked out of me when I heard this," said Joanne Romano, director of technology for the Southeast Delco School District.

Romano said the theft would hurt the districts efforts to provide one computer for every four students. "Those children who would have used the machines for writing, research and creativity now dont have access," she said.

Police said they didnt know how the thieves got into the school, and district Superintendent Trudie Bennett asked students and the public to help find the culprits and the computers.