Two laptops disappear on same day; head of high school recommends students be more watchful of electronics

On  Nov. 30, two laptops were stolen from the high-school quad.

Naomi Turnbull

The first computer disappearance occurred between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.. Freshman Naomi Turnbull left her backpack with her computer inside by her locker while at soccer practice, only a few hundred yards away. Yet when she got home, her computer was no longer inside.

“When I got home it wasn’t there, and I freaked out,” Turnbull said.

As of Dec. 13 the  computer has still not been found.

Sophomore Jack Christian’s laptop also disappeared in a 10-minute window of opportunity on Nov. 30. At the time Christian was working in the Octagon Cave but had left his laptop in Rm. 3, where adviser Patricia Fels was working.

Fels later went to the Cave, leaving the room and Christian’s laptop briefly unattended. When junior Sahej Claire’s parent arrived to bring dinner, the staff returned to Fels’s room, where Christian discovered the computer was missing.

When Christian went outside to look around, families and athletes were streaming into the fall sports banquet.

Christian then called Tom Wroten, director of technology, who tracked the laptop and said it had last been logged on near room 1, math teacher Patricia Jacobsen’s room.

Christian checked the area Wroten suggested, but the laptop was nowhere to be seen.

Jack Christian

“I know I didn’t lose it,” Christian said. “I distinctly remember leaving it (in Fels’s room) and definitely never passed by Ms. Jacobsen’s room while  we were working.”

But this isn’t the first time something like this happened. Last spring, three laptops went missing during a band performance.

Juniors Katia Dahmani and Annya Dahmani and Sydney Michel, ‘16, had their computer stolen from the music  room during the concert on April 27.

In this case, as well as in Christian’s, the laptops were the only items stolen, even though wallets and phones were in plain view in the music room.

“Fels’s purse was in the room, but only my laptop went missing,” Christian said.

The laptops have still not been found, and the question of raising security in the quad has come up again.

Even though the thefts seem unlikely, they could be avoided. “If you leave a $1,200 laptop unattended it might get stolen,” said Brooke Wells, head of high school.

On the subject of possible security cameras, Wells said they don’t really help to identify thieves or vandals.

“We had one in the garden four or five years ago, when the garden was being vandalized, but it really didn’t help much,” he said.

Wells said that students just need to be more careful with their computers.

“I walked around during elective (on Nov. 30) and collected eight laptops left in an empty quad,” Wells said. “I would’ve made $10,000 easily.”

By Mehdi Lacombe

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