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'Give them back': Educational technology stolen from school for children with autism

The thief or thieves took laptops, iPads, construction tools and projectors from the Bridgeway School outside Springfield, said Patricia Wigney, executive director of Bridgeway House."It's devastating, it's absolutely devastating," Wigney said. "They're tools for communication. It's not - it's so sad because of taking these technology away from our children." (SBG)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A school for children with autism lost tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in a break-in this week.

The thief or thieves took laptops, iPads, construction tools and projectors from the Bridgeway School outside Springfield, said Patricia Wigney, executive director of Bridgeway House.

"It's devastating, it's absolutely devastating," Wigney said. "They're tools for communication. It's not - it's so sad because of taking these technology away from our children."

Some of the 75 students at the school can't communicate verbally, Wigney said. The technology taken in the theft helped those students communicate and learn.

And while insurance will cover much of the loss, Wigney said they won't be ready for the start of school September 6.

"I would love if these people that took our belongings would just leave them on the bench," "Give them back; that would be like a miracle to me."

The theft happened late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

The break-in also damaged doors and the new gym floor.

"The construction company also that was doing the construction work on our gym floor, their tools were also taken," Wigney said.

There were no signs of forced entry from the exterior, leading to speculation that someone entered the building while construction was going on and waited for an opportunity.

"There were no windows broken, no locks broken. It was inside," Wigney said.

There was damage to interior doors.

"They took a putty knife from the janitor's closet and used it on the door and broke off the framework of the door," Wigney said.

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