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Schools increase security after computer thefts

$25,000 worth of computers stolen in last week at two schools

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Sheriff's investigators are still searching for suspects in the recent school computer thefts.

Thieves stole computers twice at Laguna Blanca School on Paloma Drive in Santa Barbara and once at Vieja Valley Elementary in Santa Barbara.  All three incidents happened within the last week.

At Vieja Valley Elementary School, seven Apple iMac computers valued at around $10,000 were stolen.

Vieja Valley officials say they've increased patrols on campus, put in more lighting and installed more alarms.  Principal Mariann Cooley says they may stop letting the community know about all the expensive equipment the school has.

At Laguna Blanca School, Sony laptops and iMac desktop computers were stolen on two separate nights within the last week. 

A spokesperson for Laguna Blanca told NewsChannel 3 the school has increased security, but would not elaborate.

In 2010, Cold Spring School in Montecito had 60 iMac laptops stolen from a computer lab.  59 of the devices were recovered in San Francisco.

Superintendent of Cold Spring School, Dr. Tricia Price told NewsChannel 3 the school has upgraded their surveillance cameras and no longer has a computer lab. 

Cold Spring students are given a personal laptop for the school year.  The laptops are stored in an undisclosed location.

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