The Manchester Police Department is investigating after 17 computers and two overhead projectors worth an estimated $20,000 were stolen from an elementary school during the holiday weekend.
About a dozen MacBook Pro laptops and a few desktop computers, along with the projectors were stolen between Friday evening and Tuesday morning at Bowers Elementary School, according to police.
All public schools in Manchester were closed Monday in observance of Veterans Day.
According to investigators, it appears the criminal or criminals got into the school through a window.
The computers were used by children every day, and the overhead projectors were used for lesson plans and to show off children's work.
"Our school isn't a rich school," said fifth grader Madison Irizarry. "Why would they take this stuff when we're not that rich?"
Irizarry told Eyewitness News she observed the police investigation.
"The detectives were in our room and dusting off stuff and I was like, 'What's happening?'" she said.
The principal of Bowers Elementary School, Mary Lou Ruggiero, discussed the incident during a PTA meeting Tuesday night.
"It's kind of sick when you think about it," said Mike Crockett, who is a board of education member.
School officials said they believe their insurance company will cover the items stolen.
"It's a minimal disruption for the students because we've begun to put our purchase order together to replace them," said Manchester School Superintendent Richard Kisiel and continued. "It is sad that the kids probably won't have computers for a short time, but I think the they'll probably be fine and not that affected by it. But, it's more sad than anything."
School officials have talked with their security team about the next step. There are surveillance cameras at the school, however they are only located at the main door of the building. And Kisiel said he has talked with the board of education about any more cameras in the future.
"It is our first priority to keep these schools safe," Crockett said. "It's not happened very often in Manchester, and hopefully it will never happen again."
For parents, the most difficult part is explaining the incident to children.
"I said, honey, unfortunately there are bad people in the world and they do some not so good things," said parent Krista Tuhui. "And she was really concerned about it. She was concerned that she was not safe."
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 860-645-5500.
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