Students` electronics have become easy target for thieves - KMSP-TV

Students` electronics have become easy target for thieves

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Police say school campuses are becoming targets for theft thanks to the valuable technology inside. From the suburbs to the city, thieves are eyeing electronic educational tools and once school is out, they're making their move.

SEE: Another charged in iPad, laptop thefts from Bronzeville school

"So I was talking with my mom who actually runs the iPad program for the Seneca school district and she said that they do a few key things to help that are really preventative measures. One is that they inventory iPods by their serial numbers and all of the iPods actually engraved by Apple with the school's name and they activate the Where's My iPad app," said techie Sarah Evans, Owner of Sevens Strategy.

In Lake Zurich at Seth Paine Elementary School, police say 70 iPads, iPods, computers and mini laptops worth $35,000 were swiped early Wednesday morning.

Just days earlier, more than $100,000 worth of Apple items were stolen from John B. Drake Elementary School in Bronzeville, IL.

Ten of the suspects are teens.

"These are the growing pains of technology. As the criminals get smarter, we have to get smarter and tech companies have to stay ahead of theft and help with other preventative measures to makes sure that when people spend that kind of money on a product, especially school districts, they're spending in bulk like that, that they have a way to protect and recover," said Evans.

"It may be a hard time funding that security but often times lights are left on, windows are left open in the schools even when the students are not there so you know that's just a welcome mat for someone to just walk in there," said Mika Moss.

Moss' four children are Drake Elementary School students. As Moss points out, the same technology attracting criminals also makes it easier for police to catch them.

"Luckily and thankful that they had GPS and they were able to track the iPads and the iPods and they can at least give them back to the school," said Moss.

Chicago Public Schools says that's thanks to equipment tracking technology and surveillance footage. Apple's "Find My iPhone" service for Apple products allows users to locate a missing device, display a message on its screen, make it play a sound at full volume, and remotely lock or wipe it to protect privacy.

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