The theft at the DEO has come as a wake up call for the police , writes L. Srikrishna

The news of 54 laptops that went missing from the District Education Office a couple of days ago has come as a rude shock to the police. The laptops, worth Rs. 8 lakh, were earmarked for distribution to students as part of a welfare assistance programme of the State government. The case is under investigation by the Tallakulam police.

According to a police officer, the laptops were packed in cartons. The consignment of 500 laptops arrived in November and was intended for distribution in this region under the purview of the Chief Education Office in the city.

What is baffling the police is that the campus is protected by three watchmen and a security guard from a private agency. However, no register is maintained to record entry-exit details of visitors.

Police suspect the theft could have been carried out either by visitors or with the connivance of education department staff.

At first it was thaought that 10 laptops were missing. A detailed examination revealed that 54 had been stolen. The padlock of the room in which the laptops were stored was found broken open.

The theft has come as a wake up call for other government departments that do not have foolproof security and fire safety systems in place. A few months back, a fire broke out at the Collector’s office and files were destroyed. The Corporation office too does not have proper fire extinguishers.

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