Laptop, personal items stolen from science teacher’s car

By Lara Sokoloff
and Rebecca Nussbaum

 

A laptop and other items were stolen from a faculty member’s car Thursday morning in the lot behind Starbucks at Ventura and Alcove.

Science teacher Krista McClain parked her car in the lot behind Starbucks.

When she returned minutes later, she found her backseat driver’s side window shattered and her school computer, keys, global positioning system and other personal items missing, she said.

Head of Computer Services Dave Ruben does not think the computer theft poses any threat to the school or the student body.

“Realistically, unless someone has her password, there is nothing at risk on her computer. Chances are, that’s not the reason it was stolen,” Ruben said.

Head of Security Jim Crawford and Sergeant Aaron Ponce of the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Station confirmed that the computer was most likely stolen for resale purposes, not for the information it contains.

Crawford said his only concern was that the name of the school appears when the computer is turned on.

“If you get someone who has half a brain and has the keys, they can match the school up with the keys,” he said.

However, security is looking into rekeying the small area McClain’s keys had access to, Crawford said.

It is very likely that the theft was related to the Coldwater break-ins last spring, he said.

All recent break-ins are a result of items clearly visible to passersby. Students are advised to stow all valuable electronics, including GPS, iPods, and laptops, in the trunk, or to not leave them in the car at all, Ponce said.

Furthermore, storing personal information in your GPS, such as home or office addresses, could lead a burglar directly to your whereabouts, increasing the chances of a second crime, Crawford said.

Security’s primary concern is students’ safety on campus, Crawford said; however, they are now taking measures to set up security cameras on Coldwater Canyon due to the multiple off-campus thefts.

Security had planned on keeping a closer eye on Coldwater Canyon even before McClain’s incident, Crawford said.

A car break in can be compled successfully in under 15 seconds; thieves take the items that they touch, thus rarely leaving fingerprints, Ponce said. Therefore, neither the police department nor campus security has identified any possible suspects.

“If we can find a suspect that is attacking the school area, it would probably clear a lot of burglaries through that one person,” Crawford said. “We are doing what we can to get this rectified as quickly as we can.”

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