Caught on tape: thieves at Melba school

Two young men are seen on surveillance video breaking into Melba schools.


by Nishi Gupta
Idaho's NewsChannel 7


Posted on October 29, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 10:25 AM


MELBA -- Caught on tape: thieves break into the Melba school district early Thursday morning and get away with thousands of dollars in goods.   But, maybe not for long.

Canyon County detectives have surveillance video and are hopeful it will lead to arrests.  The cameras catch two people roaming the halls at about 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.   It's estimated they're on site for nearly an hour because a custodian who showed up for work at 4:30 a.m. saw them get in a car and take off.  

In one clip, two males are walking.  In another they're seen hustling down the hall.  They both look young.  Melba School District Superintendent Bob Larson hopes they're not his students.

"In a town like Melba where you feel like one big family and you know to have the possibility of someone in our little community or community of the school might be  involved in that type of thing is probably more hurtful than anything," Larson said.

The thieves broke through windows to get in the office of the combined middle school and high school.  They got into the office of the nearby elementary school too.  The superintendent says the thieves broke a window, reached in and unlocked the door.
They stole laptops, district-owned cell phones, digital cameras and PDAs -- worth an estimated $10,000.

The school district has repaired the damaged windows and doors.   Police were planning to patrol the campus Thursday night into Friday morning. 

Students say they aren't scared.

"I don't think they'll come like during school or something like and bring a weapon," Eight grader Wade Reese said.

But the theft hurt parent teacher conferences Thursday evening. Some parents couldn't get their kids' grades. 

"It's more annoying especially coming and going to a parent teacher conference tonight and the teachers don't have their laptops. One of the teachers laptops was in the office and hers was stolen," parent Lynne Svedin said.

Larson is thankful for the camera surveillance but says he still needs the public's help.   Detectives believe there might be more people involved than just the two people seen in the surveillance video.   If caught, the thieves will face felony charges of burglary and grand theft.

If you have any information call the Canyon County Sheriff's Office at 454-7480.