School counts cost after iPads pinched

Franklin vice-principal Margaret Wood in the school's computer lab.
Franklin vice-principal Margaret Wood in the school’s computer lab.

Franklin Public School staff and students have been left disappointed and unnerved after the school was broken into 4am Monday night, with half of the school’s iPads stolen.

Ten iPads, along with other electrical and sporting goods were taken in the theft, which left the school over $5000 out of pocket.

Police were alerted to the crime Tuesday after a member of the public provided information three teenagers were attempting to sell a number of iPads.

The member of the public recognised the distinct cases on the iPads as belonging to Franklin Public School.

Police have since recovered a number of items including three of the 10 stolen iPads.

Sergeant Bryan Hammond of Tumut Police said a number of iPads remain missing and police have evidence some have been resold into the community.

“We’ve recovered three, but seven remain outstanding, we’ve had reports of young people trying to sell the devices for anywhere between $50 and $100,” he said.

“The iPads were in distinctive blue, black and red cases, and have a serial number on the back. We understand they’ve all been factory rest by the alleged offenders.”

Sergeant Hammond reminded the public it is an offense to own stolen goods.

“We have all the serial numbers for the devices and anyone caught in possession of them will be prosecuted with the criminal offense of receiving stolen property or goods in custody. It’s a serious offence,” he said.

“We are urging anyone who has the devices in their possession to return them to either Franklin Public School where there’ll be no questions asked or to Tumut Police.”

Sergeant Hammond said the iPads are used as an education tool for the school and police wanted to see them returned as soon as possible.

“They’re used by students to benefit their education,” he said.

“They were only bought by the school last year and it’s a significant financial burden to the school. My understanding is the school was not given money from the department or education for the resources, the did it themselves.”

Three people aged under 15 are assisting police with their investigation.

Franklin vice-principal Margaret Wood said the incident has been disheartening, but has praised the public tip off which led police to recover three of the iPads and alerted the school to the break in.

“It’s very disappointing, the technology was exciting and new for the school, it allowed us to take a different approach to learning and students were very engaged,” Ms Wood said.

“They were only purchased late last year as new resources. The children were really engaging in a new way with their learning and it’s sad 10 of 21 were taken.”

Ms Wood said the school invested significant time and money into the new resources to try and better student education and for someone to ruin that is disheartening.

Police warn locals to be alert for people trying to resell the stolen items and remind locals possessing stolen items are a criminal offence.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Tumut Police on 6947 7199 or CrimeStopper on 1800 333 000.