Third Case of Computer Theft at High School

January 3, 2007

By Tara Lynn

North Charleston police are trying to find out who stole a laptop computer from Academic Magnet High School. That computer contains personal information about hundreds of students. This theft is actually the third time someone has stolen computers from this school. November 17th-- someone stole a desktop computer from a guidance counselor.s office. November 30th-- someone stole three monitors and two laptops from the media center. Over the holidays-- someone stole a lap top again from the same guidance counselor.s office. School officials say parents and students have nothing to worry about.

Academic Magnet High School attracts top students from around the Lowcountry, but now one office could be a magnet for computer theft.

Schools officials and police say someone broke into the school and stole a lap top from a guidance counselor.s office. Charleston County school representative Jerry Adams says that computer contained personal information for about 500 students who go to that school. But he says that information should be safe no matter whose hands it falls into.

"Identity theft and privacy issues concern us," said Adams. :But we don't think its an issue because the information is password protected and encrypted."

The school sent that same message in a letter home to parents which seems to reassure them.

"As a general matter, the fact that its password-protected and encrypted should protect that information pretty well," said parent Haigh Reinigher.

Computer expert Jamey Mellis says he's right.

"In general that info should be safe and that information isn't going anywhere - if it's protected by password and encryption". Mellis explained.

School officials hope the case soon comes to a close.

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