HAYWARD -- A suspected thief who police say broke into an elementary school and stole desktop computers from a classroom for special education students was behind bars Tuesday on multiple charges including burglary.
John Rebe Rodi, 44, of Hayward, was caught on a video surveillance tape removing a screen from an unlocked window at Eldridge Elementary School and climbing through the window, said Sgt. Eric Krimm. The video also shows him stealing computers and some other handheld electronics including iPods.
Police say Rodi is suspected of entering the building three times between late Sunday night and about 4:20 a.m. Monday morning. The school's video surveillance reveals he first entered the building at 10:39 p.m. Sunday, Krimm said.
At least $3,000 in equipment was stolen, Krimm said.
The burglary was discovered on Monday when a teacher arrived at work, Krimm said.
Police said Rodi was identified as the suspect in the video by a school employee who recognized him.
Krimm would not say how the employee recognized Rodi but did say he was not a parent of a child who attended the school and that he did not work at the school.
Rodi was arrested about 1 p.m. Monday on suspicion of burglary and other charges. He was on probation for burglary at the time of his arrest.
Jail records show Rodi is being held on $222,500 bond and is due to appear before a judge today at the Hayward Hall of Justice to be arraigned on charges including burglary, possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property and violation of probation.
So far, Krimm said, only half of the school's property had been recovered.
Anyone with information about the stolen items can call police at 510-293-7000 or at the anonymous tip line at 510-293-7197.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.