Sheboygan County school district loses over 500 iPads

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Sheboygan County school district loses over 500 iPads

By Jonah Kaplan. CREATED Sep 3, 2013

RANDOM LAKE, WI -- The first day of school started with a letdown.

Hundreds of students in Random Lake schools were supposed to get new iPads and tablet computers today, but instead found out they're gone.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department confirms someone stole the electronics - worth more than $180,000.

"I was hoping to get my homework done on those iPads today," laments Conrad Kaufert, an eighth grader. "It angers me."

Random Lake schools superintendent Tom Malmstadt tells TODAY'S TMJ4 that school officials first discovered the missing tablets on Thursday, just a few days before the first day of school. Elementary school students have used the iPads for at least a year in all subjects, and this year the board set aside the cash to purchase more for the middle school.

In a letter sent to parents, Malmstadt promised that "every effort is being made to replace the missing devices and get them in the hands of the children where they belong...We are continuing to cooperate with the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department and are moving forward with what we believe to be in the best interest of our students."

Malmstadt added all the tablets were insured, and the district has ordered replacements.

Sheriff's deputies tell TODAY'S TMJ4 the investigation so far has identified at least one person of interest - an employee of the school district. Capt. David Adams adds the theft may have taken place over a long period of time.

Jonah Kaplan

Jonah Kaplan

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Originally from Philadelphia, Jonah Kaplan loves the culture, character and pride of Milwaukee. He's won top awards for his reporting of breaking news and severe weather.