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Computers taken from Pa. school in two burglaries

August 18, 2005

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - More than a dozen computers were stolen in two burglaries at Lurgan Elementary School, 8888 Roxbury Road, between Friday and Tuesday, according to Pennsylvania State Police and Chambersburg Area School District officials.

Police said they believe the first burglary took place between 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. A rear door to a boiler room was forced open and then a door to an office area and a supply area were forced open, but nothing was stolen from there.

The door to a computer room was forced open and nine Dell GX 270 computers were stolen along with one Dell Dimension 3000 computer and five Dell M782 monitors, police said. The computer equipment was valued at $12,130, police said.

Police said an attempt also was made to enter the building through the playground entrance.

Superintendent Edwin Sponseller said the first burglary was discovered Monday morning and the school was broken into again through the same rear door Monday night or Tuesday morning.

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Mark Long, the district's director of technology, said four computers and monitors were stolen from the school's library in the second incident.

No one was charged in the burglaries as of Wednesday afternoon, Trooper Ed Asbury said.

Many of the school district's larger buildings have alarm systems and surveillance cameras, but Lurgan does not, Business Manager Rick Vensel said. Lurgan is in a remote area with few houses nearby, Sponseller said.

Vensel said schools are occasionally broken into and vandalized, but thefts such as these are rare.

Sponseller said that Chambersburg Area Senior High School sustained about $60,000 in damage last year when a student turned on a decontamination shower in a lab. The resulting leak damaged computers and books in rooms below the lab.

In that case, the student was in school after classroom hours, but parts of the building were open for after-school activities, Sponseller said.

Anyone with information about the Lurgan burglaries may call state police at 717-264-5161 or Franklin County Crime Solvers at 263-3000. Callers to the Crime Solvers line may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

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