Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Updated: 2:48 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 | Posted: 10:40 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013

Burglars steal computers, set fire to Seattle middle school classroom

Asa Mercer Middle School arson investigation
Damaged items in the Asa Mercer Middle School fire.
A portable classroom at Mercer Middle School was ravaged and burned early Sunday morning. Police also said the suspects stole several computers, creating $15,000 in damage. 

The burglary and arson happened at around 1:30 a.m. A Seattle Public Schools spokesperson said the lock to a parking lot gate had been cut, but that the damage was contained to the one portable classroom.

Seattle police said that the arson bomb squad team will continue with the investigation.

Outside, charred folders, a projector and paper were strewn on the ground. The sign by the door said the classroom was for journalism, media arts and yearbook classes.

A fire official opened the door and showed KIRO 7 the ashes and toxic smell inside.

Eighth-grader Sangchien Saeparn told KIRO 7 there were new computers recently purchased for that class. He said the suspects might have targeted the equipment.

"If they didn't know, why would they burn it and take the stuff inside?" he said.

He said that his friends like working on the yearbook publication in that classroom. He said they'll be disappointed when they return to school Tuesday.

To the suspects, Saeparn said, "That's shameful. You don't need to do that, because kids want to learn. And that's not fair to the other kids who want to go."

Neighbors were also concerned about that damage. 

"$15,000…is money we can't afford to lose," said Louis Watanabe. "We need all the resources we can for education."

Watanabe, who is involved with the North Beacon Council, said that the incident would likely be discussed at the council's next gathering.

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