Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Thieves take 17 MacBooks, other computer equipment at Perkins Elementary in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — They hopped a fence into Perkins Elementary School, broke through a glass door and made off with what police said was more than $19,000 in computer equipment.

Now, authorities are asking for help to identify the two young men who stole a projector, two iMac desktop computers and 17 MacBook computers from the magnet school in about two hours. The break-in happened at about 2:30 a.m. June 15, police said.

"Given the fact that they took so many computers, the dollars lost here is phenomenal," police spokesman Mike Puetz said. "This scale of crime at a school is truly an anomaly."

Campus officials discovered the shattered glass that morning and called police, Puetz said.

Perkins principal Tony Pleshe said the school, which houses a magnet program for music and arts, has about 550 students who regularly use the computers in the classroom.

Although the loss of $19,000 in equipment is certainly a hit, Pleshe said it will not cripple the program. The most affected will be the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders who are given MacBook laptops to carry with them through those three years at the school.

"It's sad that people are stealing from children," he said. "They may think they're taking from the adults, from the school. But really they're stealing from our children."

Police might be able to trace the stolen computers if they are resold, Puetz said.

This was the second reported burglary at a school in as many days. Most break-ins on school property occur either on weekends or during the summer, when it is assumed there is less foot traffic and more relaxed security, Puetz said.

But with security cameras, which more and more schools have begun to use, someone is always watching.

Police used such security video to gain a description of the pair: Black men with average builds likely in their late teens or early twenties, wearing latex gloves and stockings over their heads to conceal their identities. One appeared to have long hair tucked into the stocking.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ricardo Lopez at (727) 893-4890.

Thieves take 17 MacBooks, other computer equipment at Perkins Elementary in St. Petersburg 06/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 9:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Sunny, clear Memorial Day ahead of increased rain chances throughout the week


    If you're planning on heading outside today for Memorial Day activities, the weather shouldn't get in the way.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  3. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  4. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year


    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  5. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'


    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. []