On Tuesday morning, Cupertino Briceño School, in Caimital de Nicoya, started the day with only seven computers in its computer lab. The thieves took advantage of the fact that no one is at the school at night or early in the morning and broke in.
They stole 16 of the 23 computers that the lab had.
“We found out on Tuesday, when the assistant security guard arrived and called us when she found out,” the school principal, Francisca Sanchez, told The Voice of Guanacaste.
Sanchez contacted the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ- Organismo de Investigación Judicial) immediately to file the police report.
“They entered through the lot behind the school. Apparently they’re people who know what they’re doing. They cut the chain link fence very well cut, removed a sheet of metal roofing and the drop ceiling,” she remarked.
Apparently, according to what the fellow from the OIJ said, there were four people because they found four sets of gloves nearby,” she added.
The Omar Dengo Foundation (FOD- Fundación Omar Dengo) donated the computers to the institution through its National Computer Science Educational Program, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Education (MEP- Ministerio de Educación Pública). This is one of 4,137 educational centers that FOD benefits throughout the country, according to data from FOD at the end of 2020.
To donate them, FOD assesses whether the institutions meet minimum security requirements: metal doors, double cylinder deadbolt, window bars and a fire extinguisher weighing at least five kilos (11 pounds). “In cases of educational computer science labs, an alarm is requested additionally,” specified the foundation’s general manager, Marcelo Carvajal.
The school principal specified that the lab doesn’t have an alarm and, in addition, clarified that the school doesn’t have a security guard assigned by the MEP.
Some time ago, there was a security officer, but he couldn’t be reappointed because he wasn’t certified to carry weapons. The code was lost and then they only gave us a code to assign to an assistant security guard,” said Sanchez.
The school, of course, won’t be left without a lab or computers. The FOD manager explained that all of the equipment has insurance from the National Insurance Institute (INS– Instituto Nacional de Seguros) in case of theft, so once the report has been submitted to OIJ, a copy of the police report along with the report to the foundation will be submitted to process compensation (payment for the damage) through INS.
The school should receive the computers once they return from vacation, on July 12, since FOD’s protocol is to deliver them within the next 10 business days after the report, as long as “the damage to the infrastructure, due to the event, is repaired, in order to deliver the replacement computers to a safe area and avoid risks in that way,” Carvajal pointed out.
The school principal reiterated that the computers have signs that can help detect that they were stolen from the institution. “Ministerio de Educación Pública” and “Fundación Omar Dengo” are engraved on them, and they even have a plaque with the school’s name. “To sell it, they’d have to scrape it off,” said Sanchez.
Also, Sanchez sent a message to parents to inform them if anyone saw something suspicious.
If you have information about this robbery, you can communicate it to OIJ’s confidential line, 800-800-645, or email [email protected].
According to data from FOD, since the beginning of the pandemic, they have not shown a significant change in reports of equipment theft
“So far in 2021, 34 reports have been received…. This means a decrease of three cases compared to the same prior period. Likewise, if we compare 2020 with respect to 2019, we experience a 43% reduction in the total number of reports.”