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Three Santa Cruz County elementary schools were hit by burglars early Tuesday morning, a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s spokeswoman said. An alarm was set off at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday at Bradley Elementary School at 321 Corralitos Road in unincorporated Watsonville, Deputy April Skalland said. Deputies responded and found an office door ajar and a computer moved, but it appeared that the suspect or suspects had been unable to take the equipment off the premises, Skalland said.
Later in the morning, the sheriff’s office received reports from two other elementary schools that early morning break-ins had occurred at those campuses as well, Skalland said. At Live Oakland Elementary School at 1916 Capitola Road in unincorporated Santa Cruz, somebody entered the staff lounge and stole a computer and printer, Skalland said.
The intruders also attempted to burglarize other parts of the school but were unsuccessful, she said. In the third burglary, the library at Mar Vista Elementary School, located at 6860 Soquel Drive in Aptos, was damaged when burglars smashed a window to enter the building and then tried to steal computers. The computers were chained together, thwarting the theft attempt, but the library was a mess when deputies arrived, with computers strewn across desks and glass shards from the broken windows littering the room, Skalland said.
Skalland said the three break-ins appear to be similar. “We believe they are probably connected,” she said. There was no surveillance footage available from any of the schools, but investigators are continuing to search for clues. “We are hoping with more information or tips we can solve this crime,” Skalland said. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (831) 471-1121.
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