Break-in at administration building continues string of unusual crimes on campus lately

October 10, 2020 — by Christina Chang and Shreya Rallabandi

An investigation has been opened into a break-in at the administration building on Sept. 24. Since no items were stolen from the office, the motive for the break-in remains unknown. 

“It could be curiosity, it could be for valuable items like electronics, or it could be for data or information they may think the office holds,” assistant principal Matt Torrens said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office received an alarm call at 10:41 pm, and deputies were dispatched. They located an open window with its screen removed, and video surveillance revealed the intruder to be a young male. Deputies canvassed the area and did not find any other signs of forced entry.

“It was more of [a concern because] someone managed to walk in there,” school resource officer Russell Davis said.

This comes on the heels of an unusual break-in on campus this past summer when a group of experienced thieves broke into the library and main office. By smashing the side windows and bypassing the school’s faulty alarm system, they stole thousands of dollars in technology and cash. 

According to assistant principal Kerry Mohnike, break-ins at the school are rare. In Mohnike’s nine years as an administrator, this is the third time an office break-in has occurred. 

“I am always dismayed at the act of burglarizing,” Mohnike said. “My first thoughts are usually disappointment since often it is students or former students that do such things.” 

Nevertheless, the school is attempting to tighten security measures to prevent future break-ins. According to Mohnike, the school is considering new security measures but must get district approval. These additional measures include adding more security to windows and improving the alarm system as well as reviewing the current safety protocols.

These protocols, however, can only prevent so much. 

“The reality is, if someone wants to commit a crime and they want to get something, they’re going to find a way to do it,” Davis said.

While Davis said the school remains a safe place, both the administration and the sheriff’s department are trying to prevent break-ins by increasing safety measures.

“These [break-ins] just shift more attention to Saratoga High School,” Davis said. “We now have frequent patrol checks and more support from law enforcement to prevent something like this from happening again. The school is safe, and we’re doing everything we can working with the administration to make sure everything is as tidy as we can make it.”

 

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Junior Daniel Jiang prepares to make a goal during an after school water polo practice at SHS's swimming pool on Sept. 16. Photo by Selina Chen

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