Computers, electronics recovered after school theft

From DN reporter Regina Medina:

A West Philadelphia school was again the target of sticky-fingered thieves seeking computers and electronics on Sunday, police and school district officials said Monday.

The group, believed to be made up of juveniles, broke into the James Rhodes Elementary School, on Parrish Street near 49th in the Mill Creek section, setting off a burglar alarm that alerted school police.

Police recovered 12 Macbook laptops, three monitors, one printer, one projector and one speaker from the living room of an abandoned house on Ogden Street near 49th that the kids were seen running into.

District officials were still determining whether any other inventory from the school was missing.

“It’s always disturbing to hear this kind of thing, especially under the budget constraints we’re under,” said district spokeswoman Shana Kemp. “That someone would target a school for theft is pretty saddening.”

Two teens admitted in Family Court last month to stealing 60 computers worth about $80,000 from West Philadelphia High School. The duo, one of whom attended the school, said they sold some of the computers on Craigslist. About 30 computers were recovered.

Philly natives Will Smith and his former bodyguard, Charlie Mack Alston, donated 30 computers to the school.