7 laptops stolen from Tulare Salvation Army

September 23rd, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Seven laptops were stolen from the Tulare Salvation Army computer lab. The laptops were used by local youth to enroll in college classes and adults to learn English.

Salvation Army Capt. Harold Laubach said “the computers were also used by some young people to apply for jobs online and during tutoring sessions for middle and elementary school students. All of a sudden teens don’t have access to college enrollment”.

The laptop theft incident took place during the day time when the Tulare Salvation Army received help from a number of different people in the community.

“One you steal from a church but two you feel from a charity that’s also a church and where are we supposed to go find more money to buy more computers and that’s the bad part you know-stealing is stealing you know but you steal from a charity that provides computers for free?” Laubach said.

After this theft, the Salvation Army doesn’t have enough computers now to run its adult language classes or open up the lab for youth group sessions. Laubach says a lot of teenagers come in to use the computers because they don’t have internet access at their place.

The Beaumont Foundation had donated these laptops, along with dock stations, screens, keyboards and other accessories, to the Salvation Army. While they weren’t new, the computers were getting plenty of use with the tutoring, college enrollment, online job application and ESL classes. Three months ago, a server that provided Internet access was installed.

“They outfitted the place. Internet access was set up and use picked up. The teens don’t have anything to work on” he said.

Tulare Police Sergeant Darron Altermatt said the theft is under investigation. No arrests have been made. Police estimated the value of laptop at $100 each.

The computer lab was empty. Computer monitors were dark. Keyboards were unhooked and cords’ connections sprawled about.

To the electronics thief, Laubach said: “They’re hurting people who came to the lab. I hope they can sleep at night.”

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