Library break-in under investigation

Originally published on September 23, 2014

A library window was broken into and three iMacs were stolen on the night of Sept. 15. Photos by Zoe Kaiser

Police are investigating a break-in and theft of three iMac computers from the school library on the night of Sept. 15.

The break-in occurred through a library window that was facing the courtyard and was closest to the computers, according to librarian Steve Sasso. An alarm went off at 2:15 a.m. at the school district’s Security Department, but the cause of the alarm was not discovered until custodian Joanna Dai first saw the scene at 6:30 a.m., according to assistant principal of administration Michael Yi.

“I thought to myself, ‘Wow, what happened here?’ I saw the empty table, and after that, I felt sad. Why would someone do that to the students who need the resources?”

Sasso expressed disappointment when he first saw the scene. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow, what happened here?’” Sasso said. “I saw the empty table, and after that, I felt sad. Why would someone do that to the students who need the resources?”

A Crime Scene Investigator from the San Francisco Police Department came to the library around 11 a.m. to take samples of blood left on the shards of glass, according to dean Ray Cordoba.

The computers were worth an estimated $1,000 each and have been temporarily replaced with computers that were put away during construction to renovate the lab this summer and fall, according to Sasso.

The window was replaced by the district’s Facility Department on the same day, according to Yi. Costs of the window were around a couple hundred dollars, but the larger cost was the labor of two specialists from the District who came in the morning to measure the window and had to come back a second time to install the window after the CSI inspector checked the scene. All maintenance costs are covered by the district’s Facility Department.

A library window was broken into and three iMacs were stolen on the night of Sept. 15. Photos by Zoe Kaiser

“Big incidents don’t happen very often, but over the past decade, loss of computers in locker rooms and certain offices add up and it’s costly.”

The school does not have a video surveillance system, according to Cordoba and confirmed by principal Andrew Ishibashi, so there was not any direct footage of the burglary recorded. “If we had cameras, we would definitely have caught who did it,” Ishibashi said. “I have contacted the school district and recommended that security cameras be installed at Lowell.”

According to Cordoba, at least seven years ago, there was a break-in to the Language Lab, then in Rm. 209, where many computers were stolen. “That should have prompted the district to invest in a video surveillance system,” Cordoba said. “Big incidents don’t happen very often, but over the past decade, loss of computers in locker rooms and certain offices add up and it’s costly.”