Tierra Bonita Elementary in Poway had 172 iPads stolen last week, totaling $90,000 in losses, according to Poway Unified School District officials.
The school’s library and 11 classrooms were broken into sometime during the night of July 18 and the morning of July 19.
“What kind of person would steal from school children? Shame on you,” PUSD representative Christine Paik told NBC 7.
Paik believed the thieves scaled a wall and climbed onto the roof in order to enter the school.
Thursday morning when staff arrived on campus, they saw one of the entry gates open and a rolling cart in the parking lot. They knew something was wrong.
At that point, staff entered the building and saw damages from the break-in.
“Our students are one-to-one with iPads,” Paik said, “So, whoever targeted that school, I think they knew what they were going out for.”
Tierra Bonita Elementary is an Apple Distinguished School, which means iPads and other Apple products are heavily used in the school’s curriculum.
“We’re going to have a lot of disappointed students if they don’t have these tools when the school year begins,” Paik said.
Tierra Bonita Elementary starts school August 22.
Paik noted that school foundations and parents helped raise the money for these iPads and other technologies for the school.
“This is the community’s money. This is our taxpayers’ money. And these things belong to our children,” said Paik.
No injuries were reported, Tierra Bonita Elementary Principal Mandy Bedard said in a Facebook post.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) is overseeing the investigation, but in the meantime, the Poway Unified School District asked the community to be on alert for the iPads.
SDSO Lt. Karen Stubkjaer said deputies do not have any suspects at this time.
Lt. Stubkjaer said there was a similar string of iPad thefts in the county in 2013, and those suspects were arrested and prosecuted.