I-Team: Missing or stolen school equipment

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Some schools report hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of missing equipment each year.

Schools use our taxpayer dollars to buy equipment for their students. The 22News I-Team discovered that some of these items we pay for, are gone from their inventory. From 2012-2014, Smith Voke in Northampton had diesel fuel syphoned from a bulldozer.  Westfield lost some textbooks, library books and a laptop.

“They should have a checklist of the inventory and check it everyday so it gets back to them wherever they go,” said Springfield’s Luis Perez.

The Springfield schools are by far the largest school district in western Massachusetts and the 22News I-Team discovered of the schools that we requested the information from Springfield had the highest number of missing or stolen items.

From 2012-2014, the I-Team discovered Springfield schools reported 10 laptops or computers, 3 tablets or I-pads, a saxophone, a pressure washer and a spectrophotometer missing or stolen, among other items.

Azell Cavaan is the Springfield Public Schools Chief Communications Officer.

“Certainly a district our size, a $400 million budget, 30,000 people coming and going every day I think when you see the list of items that come up missing in a year we consider that pretty minimal,” said Cavaan.

Springfield relies on their staff and students to report any items that are missing.

“Many times its just a lost item many times its carelessness when there is a culprit involved we are not shy about prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law,” said Cavaan.

Cavaan told 22News each school will assess if they will purchase new items to replace those that are missing on a case by case basis.

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