Computer is stolen from Stokes school

October 18, 2006

Lisa R. Boone, Winston-Salem Journal!localnews&s=1037645509099

A Dell computer stolen from the Germanton Elementary School cafeteria last week contains students' Social Security numbers, Stokes County schools officials said at a board of education meeting Monday.

However, any of the students' personal information on the computer is encrypted and cannot be accessed without several passwords, said Capt. Junior Palmer of the Stokes County Sheriff's Office.

School surveillance cameras caught a white male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a blue backpack breaking and entering at the school about 5 p.m. Oct. 8.

"We're trying to get the images out to the media," Palmer said. "So far, we've not had a lot of people call in on the pictures." During a regular board-of-education meeting Monday, parents asked why they had not received any information about the break-in.

Larry Cartner, Stokes County schools' superintendent, said that school officials did not release a notice to parents until Monday because they didn't want to hinder the sheriff's continuing investigation.

"The first priority was to make sure that the information was secure," Cartner said.

A projector was also stolen from the school.The computer is worth $1,500 and the projector is worth $700, the sheriff's office report says.

Anyone with any information about the burglary is asked to contact the Stokes County Sheriff's Office at 593-8787, Palmer said.

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