Two local schools hit by burglars in one week

Hillview and Laurel targeted by thieves

Reading, writing, breaking and entering -- two local schools discovered an unfortunate addition to their curriculum during the past week.

Hillview Middle School on Elder Avenue suffered the loss of 26 iPads, worth $16,000 total, on Sept. 9 after someone crawled through an unlocked classroom window, according to Menlo Park police, who got the call around 8 a.m. that day. The unidentified thief remains at large.

Five days later, an alarm summoned Atherton police to Laurel Elementary School on Edge Road at 3:30 a.m., where they found two suspects with enough ingenuity to drape clothing over the jagged edges of a broken library window to avoid cutting themselves as they burgled, but without enough creativity to avoid arrest.

Atherton police said the presence of a police canine encouraged a rapid surrender. A 16-year-old boy and Jaime Maldonado, 20, of Menlo Park, earned detention at the county jail.

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Like this comment
Posted by And More
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

The German American International School in the Willows got hit last week too. What's going on.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hillview was stupid enough to leave a window open so that thieves could gain access to that high dollar amount of electronics? Shame on the school!

Like this comment
Posted by Not in Kansas
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Was the window accidentally left open, or could someone with knowledge of where the ipads were being stored have unlocked the window during the day so they could return after hours? Not sure why the middle school needs to have 26 ipads anyway, and not stored in a locked cabinet. Is this what the Education Foundation is paying for? What about a security alarm for rooms with valuables? Is the front office alarmed?

Like this comment
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

The 2nd & 3rd commenters have blamed just about everyone and everything EXCEPT THE THIEVES!! That's some seriously flawed thinking. All of the other precautions about locked windows, locked cabinets, and security alarms are only needed because we have evil thieves living amongst us. Find the thieves, BLAME THEM, and then string them up in the public square.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2011 at 10:28 am

No, it's not flawed thinking - it's common sense. Of course the thieves are to blame. [Portion removed; no personal attacks, please.] Thieves will be thieves & their predatory nature looks to exploit any weakness, any flaw that will serve them. OF COURSE it's shame on the thieves for their unlawful, scurrilous behavior. But it's also shame on the school for being so casual about 16k worth of equipment - if this story is accurate.

In these tough economic times, we all need to be careful w/our personal items of value. A school, there to educate the masses, is charged w/being equally careful. The tax dollars, grants & gifts that provide items such as these stolen can't be taken for granted, even in a wealthy area. So for that - shame on the school!

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