PCSO: Suspects steal van, laptops from school in San Tan Valley

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (FOX 10) - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is looking for three suspects who they say stole a van and 22 laptops from a San Tan Valley school.

According to PCSO, the burglary happened at around 1:00 a.m. on July 24 at San Tan Heights K-8. The three suspects, who were masked and were wearing shorts, sneakers and masks, are believed to have entered the school through an unlocked door. 20 of the laptops were for students for the upcoming school year, and the others belonged to teachers.

Before leaving, the suspects broke a few windows and stole a school van.

"It's just not right," said parent Amanda Kekuna. "The kids are there to learn, and they need things to do for their classes, their work, their tests."

The van, however, had a GPS tracker inside, and the computers won't work once they are taken off-campus. The van, according to PCSO, was found about 100 yards away in the San Tan Heights Community. The next day, the school called PCSO to report that the van had once again been stolen. This time, it was recovered in Phoenix near the I-17 and Buckeye Road.

As for the laptops, PCSO recovered 17 of them that same night, from a vehicle near Jasper Butte and Saratoga Meadows Drives.

"Nobody feels good when someone breaks into your house or school," said principal Greg Bellemare. "You wonder why they would do that."

Bellemare's educated guess is the suspects are teens from the area who are up to no good, and trying to make a quick buck.

"Someone knows who these three people are," said Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. "These laptops were meant for elementary school kids to better their education, and now we need your help in identifying and prosecuting these criminals who did this."

"Our community is really nice, a good community, and they deserve better than someone breaking in the school," said Bellemare.

The school district is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. If you have any information, please call PCSO at 520-866-5111.