Los Angeles Unified School District police say there are about 400 burglaries at district campuses per year, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage or stolen equipment. About half of the break-ins occur during long weekends and the winter, spring and summer vacations, said Mike Bowman, the district's deputy chief of police.
As a result, the beginning of the year was grim for a class of second-graders at Saturn Street Elementary School near Culver City. The 18 students returned from winter break last week to find that burglars had made off with a boombox, the teacher's guitar, the digital clock the students won in a contest, and the year-old iMac used to make student films.
PLEA: Second-grader Mycah Gossett reads a letter to the mayor asking for help in replacing stolen school equipment.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Annie Wells Los Angeles Times; RESTORING ORDER: Saturn Street Elementary School student Farrice Taylor helps teacher [Mathew Needleman] shelve books that had been splashed with paint during a break-in over the winter break.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Photographs by Annie Wells Los Angeles Times