Technology Thefts Cost Schools Nearly $350,000

FORT WORTH, Texas – In the past year, almost $350,000 in computers and other technology have been stolen from Fort Worth area schools.

To combat the rampant crime, school officials are looking into improved digital surveillance systems. Such a system offers the ability to monitor the area where an alarm goes off instead of simple notification that an alarm has been tripped. Almost 90 cameras were installed at South Hills High School to implement its own digital system.

Lojack-like software is also being considered to track stolen equipment. The software would allow police to locate the stolen equipment from an IP address when connected to the Internet.

Last month, more than $60,000 in school property was stolen from J.P. Elder Middle School, with total estimates approaching $100,000. In other thefts, laptops were stolen from Meacham Middle School totaling $45,000, and another $45,000 in similar equipment was stolen from North Side High School. Overall loses incurred on stolen or damaged equipment across 144 district schools account for slightly less than 5 percent of the $7.1 million in budgeted for technology in 2006-2007.

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