SBMS Burglary Suspects Arrested (Plus Last Week’s Story On The Burglary)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Note: below is a press release just issued by Arcata Police, and last week’s Arcata Eye story on the initial incident. See this week’s Mad River Union for a complete story on the apprehension. – Ed.
City of Arcata




On 09/18/2013, officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the report of a burglary at the Sunny Brae Middle School. School staff reported someone had entered the school overnight and stolen an iMac computer.

On 09/20/2013, officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to another report of a burglary at the Sunny Brae Middle School. During this burglary 11 MacBook laptop computers had been stolen.
Working off citizen tips, investigators were able to identifiy the burglars as three male juveniles and recovered one desktop computer and onelap top computer.
On 09/30/2013, officers arrested all three juveniles, two 15 year olds and one 13 year old. Two of the boys were booked into juvenile hall and the third was cited and released to his parents.
The investigation is continuing to recover the remaining laptop computers.
From the Sept. 25 Arcata Eye:

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

SUNNY BRAE – When Sunny Brae Middle School Principal Lynda Yeoman opened up the main office last Friday morning, she encountered a scene similar to one from September, 2008.

The room was in disarray, with drawers opened and rifled through, and 11 MacBook computers stolen.

Ironically, the laptop computers were replacements for others destroyed during an attack on the school’s library almost exactly five years ago. In that incident, three youths were arrested after being captured at the scene where computers had been smashed, books strewn about, small animals killed and fires started.

This time, there was no vandalism, but 11 computers originally valued at $1,200 each were taken. Normally kept in the library, which is being remodeled, they had been stored in the main office because that was thought to be a more secure area.

This burglary followed another theft that took place two nights previous, in which another computer was stolen from the school’s Art Room.

The thefts appeared targeted by someone who may have known exactly where to look. “I’m pretty sure it was  an inside job,” Yeoman said. “They had to know what to look for.” She suspected that a student had either “participated or given information to an outside source.”

APD Sgt. Brian Hoffman set the loss at $6,500. He said the burglars had used a tool to pry their way into the office. He said no suspects had been identified, but that the investigation was continuing.

“It is my greatest hope that the current investigation will result in an arrest,” Yeoman wrote in an e-mail mesage to parents. “I have asked our students to come to me if they have any clear information, but not to speculate or gossip about it.  This only makes it more difficult to sift out fact from rumor. I would encourage you to talk with your child about this and if he/she has any pertinent information, encourage them to share it with me.”

Yeoman said the school’s insurance carries a $1,000 deductible, but that the computers will be replaced. “It’s just that the process takes a long time,” she said.

One stroke of luck was that seven new iPads the school had acquired hadn’t been left in the office that night. They’d been taken home by a teacher for software updating, and weren’t available to the burglars.