CENTRAL FALLS, RI (WPRI) - The Central Falls School Department opted to investigate a case of five missing laptop computers on its own before turning the case over to police a month later.
A spokesperson for the state funded district acknowledges it was the second incident involving missing computers from the city's high school during a six month period. A total of nine computers are now missing according to spokesperson Yaviri Grosso-Escalera.
Grosso-Escalera tells Target 12, staff members reported on August 2, 2012 that five MacBooks were missing from the High School Academic Enrichment Center. Target 12 contacted the district about 2 weeks after that report and received an emailed statement.
"At that time, it was believed that the laptops had been signed out for use," Grosso-Escalera told us.
Target 12 checked back this week and according to superintendent Dr. Frances Gallo, the school department conducted an investigation to find the laptops before calling Central Falls police on Sept. 5, about a month after the computers were reported missing.
"These are items that our students and staff utilize and are valuable to student learning," Gallo wrote in a statement to Target 12. "It is disappointing that someone would take them."
According to Grosso-Escalera, the first incident happened in March and involved 4 desk top computers that were reported missing from a high school classroom. She says the 'pc units' were taken but the monitors and keyboards were left behind.
"It was reported to police," Grosso-Escalera says, referring to the first set of missing computers.
The district spent $3,200 on the four desk top sets. Grosso-Escalera valued the missing MacBooks at $2500.
In her written statement, Gallo acknowledges security for 'technology equipment' is under scrutiny.
"The district is seriously contemplating tracking devices for all future purchases of technology equipment in order to deter theft," Gallo wrote.
No one from the Central Falls police department was available to comment on whether or not it is more difficult to solve a theft when it's reported a month after it happens.
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