Campus Break-In Results in Stolen Equipment

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  • The window of the student entrance remains cracked and displaced.

  • The intruders left the glass panel of the press room door broken. Photo credit to Ms. Catuogno.

  • A safe space sticker on the glass panel of the door lies on the ground after being shattered. Photo credit to Ms. Catuogno.

  • Pieces of glass lie in the entrance to the Student Press room. Photo credit to Ms. Catuogno.

  • The intruders leave equipment taken from the art room in the entrance of the press room. Photo credit to Ms. Catuogno.

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A break-in occurred on campus in the early morning hours on Monday, Feb. 19. The intruders appear to have entered through the student entrance near the band hall by breaking the glass doors. Nine computers were taken from Student Press Adviser Lanie Catuogno’s room, while 22 iPads were stolen from art teacher Brittany Skillern’s room.

“When I walked in, I saw the broken glass, and I honestly just thought it was some kind of mistake,” Ms. Skillern said. “Then when I walked into my classroom, I noticed the iPads [were] missing, and I saw a large rock sitting on one of my tables next to the iPad cart, and then I realized someone had broken the glass with a rock and stolen 22 iPads.”

Students in the art program work on the iPads daily for projects such as digital painting. Though final work is uploaded to Google Drive, in-process pieces on the applications will likely be lost.

“Any creations they have made on purchased apps — some students do digital paintings on apps and save the work on the iPad until it’s completed, so any works like that are unfortunately lost,” Ms. Skillern said. “I’m sorry about the kids that had their work lost. I hope we can recover the items — honestly what I’m most concerned about is the recovery of them.”

Members of Student Press also had work stored on some of the stolen equipment, though the server, where most yearbook content is saved, remained untouched.

“Initially I was scared, because any break-in is scary, especially in a place where I spend a lot of my time, and I know we just have so much expensive equipment that [there] would be a big impact if things were stolen,” photographer Kate Connors ‘18 said. “It won’t affect my work because a lot of my work is saved on our server, but I know people could have had things saved on [stolen equipment].”

Because the Austin Police Department (APD) has an ongoing investigation with the break-in, details cannot be disclosed at this time. We will continue to update this story as more information is released. An anonymous tip line can be reached at 512-464-4000.