Aka`ula School Theft

Aka`ula School teacher Vicky Newberry noticed something wrong as she sat down to use her computer last Tuesday morning. “I went, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and I had that feeling where your heart sinks to bottom of the stomach,” she said. Her month old Macintosh laptop was missing.

Newberry surveyed the situation and found that over the night of Monday, Nov. 20 someone forced open the door to the charter school in Kaunakakai and took two cameras, 21 blank DVDs, two brand new Macintosh laptops, a portable flash hard drive and a plastic jar with a $51 donation to the school.

“It was very specific,” she said. “It’s almost as if they had been in the building before.”

Thanks to help from parents, police recovered Newberry’s laptop on Friday. The other laptop has been located is awaiting identification. “The parents have been so great in helping us out,” said Newberry.

Nothing else was disturbed, Newberry said, and the school filed a police report. The laptops – which were personal property of the teachers who owned them, though they let the students use them – contained student addresses and phone numbers but no other personal information, she said.

The portable flash drive, however, contained the only copies of student assignments and creative work, as well as pictures from the school’s recent trip to California. Newberry said students who wanted to build a portfolio to apply for Kamehameha Schools, for example, no longer have the work to do so.

“What’s irreplaceable is the pictures and the work of Molokai children, she said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Newberry sent a letter about the situation to parents on Tuesday and the theft dominated discussion at the `Ohana Thanksgiving Luncheon on Wednesday.
“The kids are pretty bummed out,” she said.

If you have any information about the missing items call the Molokai Police at 553-5655 or Aka`ula School at 553-3711.


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