Woman wanted for theft from elementary school

The Sheriff’s Department and Spring Valley Elementary school officials are asking for the public’s help in locating a woman who came on campus and stole a cellular phone along with several Chromebooks from Madera County’s Spring Valley Elementary School.

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, a woman appeared at the Spring Valley Elementary school office and requested a student enrollment packet. While administrators and office aids put together the packet the woman seized the opportunity to steal a cell phone while administrators and faculty were away from the desk.

On her way out the woman preceded by an empty classroom, while kids where out to recess, and stole three chrome books before leaving the scene.

Superintendent of Chawanakee Unified School District, Bob Nelson told reporters from KMPH Fox 26 “She walked back across campus and we believe she was walking back to her car and noticed the students were out of Room 1, because they were out at recess with their teacher, and came in and the Chromebooks were out on the desk. Being opportunistic and brazen took three of the laptops and disappeared into her car.”

Campus video surveillance captured the vehicle used by the suspect. The car was described as a Chevy Cruze, Malibu or SS.

The laptops are fitted with GPS and security software which captured one individual who apparently tried to access the stolen laptops and is hoped to be identified by authorities.

“There were many people that were very concerned that the images that they saw were people on campus. We don't believe that to be the case, these were people using these stolen Chrome laptop books after the fact,” Nelson said

In the meantime, school officials are taking extra precautions making sure every door is locked and everyone on campus is wearing the appropriate identifying badges.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Madera County Sheriff's Department at (559) 675-7770.

- Staff Report