Dozens of Chromebooks stolen in early morning break-ins at separate Auckland schools

Two nearby Auckland schools have been raided, with Chromebooks and laptops stolen, in the last few days.

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A group of youths broke in and Chromebooks were stolen from Randwick Park Primary School early on Friday morning. Source: Supplied

Leaders at the two Manurewa schools fear the thefts are connected and deliberately targeted.

Randwick Park Primary School was targeted twice; a TV was stolen early on Thursday morning, before a second break-in on Friday morning.

Principal Karen McMurray told 1 NEWS the thieves broke in with a crowbar, opening "quite a secure door".

"I think they knew their way around the area and it's the same people — two on the first night, four on the second," she says.

CCTV footage on the Friday robbery shows four people wearing hoodies and face coverings breaking into the building, running away with stacks of Chromebooks.

Both thefts occurred while Auckland was in Alert Level 3.

Nearby, Alfriston College was robbed early yesterday morning, their Chromebooks also stolen.

"Two people forced open the door and crawled along the library floor, which to have been avoiding triggering the alarm," says Alastair Caine, one of the school's senior leaders.

CCTV filmed two people crawling on the floor at Alfriston College's library, at 1.40am on Monday. Source: Supplied

"It's quite clear from watching the [security] video, they headed straight to where they thought they would be."

He says around 30 Chromebooks were taken from Alfriston College.

It's a major blow for their local communities.

Randwick Park is in a decile one zone while Alfriston College is decile two, with students often living in low socio-economic communities.

"One of the biggest issues for us with ongoing lockdowns, is getting digital devices into the homes of our learners so that we can effectively move learning from face-to-face in schools to online, which is how it has to be with learning from home," Caine says.

"It was our goal to saturate our community [with devices] if we could ... They can be replaced by insurance, but it's going to take time."

McMurray is also "really disappointed" with the robbery.

"Our parents have been fantastic at coming in, making sure their children were able to continue their learning [during lockdown]," she says.

"They're taking away from the community where there isn’t a lot of money, we do the best we can to provide the best resources we can for our children."

Two people seen running from Alfriston College after Chromebooks were stolen at 2.07am on Monday. Source: Supplied

Both schools are able to remotely disabled the laptops, rendering them useless to the thieves.

McMurray says the screens will appear with a message saying they were stolen from the school.

Meanwhile Caine is concerned once the thieves realise they can't sell on the devices, they'll be dumped instead.

"That is my biggest fear... that's such a waste," he says.

"That someone's gonna discover that the 30 Chromebooks they've taken are laser-etched with the college logo, when they power it on again, there's a message saying this Chromebook is now disabled and they end up being dumped."

Both schools just want to see the laptops safely returned.

"The most noble thing they can do is leave the devices somewhere for us, unscathed," McMurray says.

"They can leave it at the school gate or someone's house where we can go collect it."

Police confirmed they're continuing to investigate the thefts, including whether they're connected.

"Police encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood, including around their local schools, to contact police," a spokesperson says.

Anyone with information about the Randwick Park Primary School theft is also asked to contact police on 105 and quote file number 210305/8914, while information about the Alfriston College robbery can be reported with reference number 210308/8149.

News tip or more information? Email Breanna Barraclough or