119 laptops reported stolen from local school

Posted at 12:01 PM, Sep 18, 2017

HAMPTON, Va. - Police in Hampton are investigating after 119 MacBook Air laptops were reported stolen from a school.

Officers were called to Phenix School on August 17.

Police say two unidentified suspects broke into the K-8 school through a window shortly after 3 a.m. and made off with the computers.

"We'll use the computers for instructional reasons as well as for testing and so basically what happens is until we can get replacement computers we are just restricting access so we just don't have as much access to the technology," said Diana Gulotta, spokesperson for the Hampton School Division.

23-year-old Averi Wilkins of Hampton was charged with one count of receiving stolen goods in connection to the case.

Wilkins tells News 3 he buys and sells used electronics all the time and didn't know the laptops had been stolen. He's scheduled to be in court Tuesday.

"I just purchase them and resell him that's all I do," he said. "I didn't think nothing of it, you know I'm saying? I'm not that type of person."

The Hampton School Division says the stolen laptops, which cost between $750-850 each, have not been recovered. The division is hoping to replace them with less expensive Google Chrome books, but will come out of the division's pocket because the worth of stolen goods doesn't meet the deductible for insurance coverage.

"This is taxpayer dollars and we are a cash strapped district so it just puts us in a tough financial situation when this happens," said Gulotta. "This is really a situation of us trying really hard to better engage our students with the tools that they enjoy and for someone to take that away from them it's very frustrating."

Hampton Police are still looking for the people responsible for the thefts. Anyone with information is asked to call police or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.