Portland police recover all but 17 computers stolen from new elementary school

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PORTLAND — Police on Tuesday said no arrests have been made in connection with the theft of 78 computers last week from the new Ocean Avenue Elementary School, which is still under construction.

Lt. Gary Rogers said there is no evidence to suggest that anyone working on construction of the school was responsible.

“There is no evidence to suggest a construction worker was involved in the theft,” Rogers said.

Police recovered dozens of the stolen computers over the weekend, but 17 computers remain missing.

Rogers said in a press release Saturday morning that tips from the public led police to a home on Irving Street, where police executed a search warrant on Friday night.

Rogers said 61 of 78 Apple computers reported stolen on Nov. 4 were recovered, but no arrests were made. The 17 computers that are still missing were probably sold before the theft was reported, he said.

“We are continuing this investigation. We expect to make an arrest and are hopeful that we can recover the remaining computers,” Rogers said. “If anyone has recently purchased a new Apple iMac or Apple MacBook at a reduced price or through a private seller we would like to hear from you.”

In addition to the computers, Rogers said police also found a marijuana growing operation consisting of 12 pot plants.

Although the computers, valued at about $60,000, were reported stolen on Nov. 4, police originally believed they were stolen the prior evening. But Rogers said the theft likely occurred over the course of several days.

The computers, 33 iMac desktop models and 45 MacBook notebooks, were stored in a locked room while the school was under construction. The computers are new and were still in boxes.

Rogers encouraged residents to contact police with any more information about the theft by calling 874-8533, or by texting GOTCHA plus their message to 274637.

Meanwhile, the School Department announced Friday that the opening of the new 440-student school, originally scheduled for January, would be delayed because humidity levels are too high to finish the gym floor.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net

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