Monday, August 24, 2009

Criminal Intent

It happens so frequently that it has become an expected, if not accepted, part of life. The call outs in the night for alarms going off at school. The criminals are no respector of socio-economic group either. They are as happy to knock off schools in affluent areas as they are in low decile ones. So often they perform mindless snatch and grabs over a series of nights, taking items that come in too close to the insurance excess to warrant a claim. And we all know of an unlucky teacher who has been caught out by a laptop theft with irreplaceable files on it.
From time to time you get lucky and catch one (not often enough) or get one who is REALLY thick. This post is to use more than 140 characters to let the twitter peeps know the happy outcome from the weekend burglary where we seem to have got the thick one(s).

In 2006 we were very chuffed to win a Tandberg Video Conferencing unit that was worth $10K. It has really only come into its own since we joined the NEN trial with access to KAREN and the benefits of fast broadband. But the kids have been loving it and have written up a few of their experiences on their blogs. We have also enjoyed letting other people come in to school and use it for meetings that they may not otherwise have had access to.
So we were pretty upset over the weekend to discover that the latest burg was the room where the Tandberg was set up. The door was prized open and they came in and took the Unit but we presumed they were disturbed by the alarm before they got the projector off the roof or the speakers off the wall. In going to check what had happened in the dark, the microphone (you can see on the right of the picture below) was found chucked on the ground. And the empty laptop boxes it usually sits on had been ripped open.
All who knew about it and use it at school were pretty glum and I had a little pity party on Twitter. Thanks for the support :)

Fast forward to the light of day, and there was the disgarded Tandberg. The criminals obviously had no idea of the value of the item they had snatched and had chucked it in disgust when they realised the laptop boxes were empty! And best yet, when our techie man plugged it in and turned it on it "gave a cough and fired up as good as new - actually with a slightly clearer picture!"
Not so fortunate for one of our neighbouring schools who on the same night had some teacher laptops successfully lifted - presumably by the same crew.