Police: 22 iPads missing from Rock Hill school

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comAugust 27, 2013 

— Nearly two dozen iPads are missing from The Children’s School at Sylvia Circle, according to a Rock Hill police report.

A faculty member noticed that 22 iPads were missing on Aug. 14, the report states, but didn’t notify the principal until Thursday, a day after the first day of school.

The iPads were part of a set of 25, and three were left behind, district spokeswoman Elaine Baker said.

The devices were “kept on a rolling table in a lockable media center closet,” according to the report. Baker said it was not known if the closet was actually locked at the time.

The principal told police none of the school’s teachers know where the tablets are, according to the police report.

Each tablet had a lime green hard case. Nineteen chargers also are missing. The value of the missing property is nearly $11,000.

The Children’s School at Sylvia Circle is a Montessori school and a school of choice in the Rock Hill school district. It had an enrollment of 413 students in early childhood education through fifth grade last school year, according to its annual report to parents.

Starting this year, the two-year, $9 million initiative known as iRock will provide an iPad to every fourth- through eighth-grade student to use in the classroom and at home.

The missing iPads were not new this year, Baker said, but had been purchased last year or the year before.

Unlike all the new iPads being handed out to students this year, they did not have the “Find My iPad” app enabled. That’s an application that allows the owner to locate a stolen or missing iPad.

All of the missing iPads have serial numbers that can be traced easily, she said.

At Monday night’s board meeting Christopher Smith, the district’s director of staff development, reported that the Rock Hill school district owns almost 10,000 iPads across all its schools.

This is not the first time iPads have gone missing from Rock Hill schools, Baker said.

Last year, she said, a teacher’s iPad was stolen from the backseat of his car, then given to the thief’s girlfriend as a Christmas present.

The first time the girlfriend sent an email, the teacher also got a copy in his email inbox and was able to locate the girlfriend and the tablet.

Also, in a high school, a student picked up an iPad and misplaced it and the “Find My iPad” app was activated to locate it.

This is the first time a large number of iPads have disappeared since the district began using them several years ago, Baker said.

“We hope to retrieve them,” she said. “We want them back.”

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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