SAN BRUNO -- A principal says it will cost at least $40,000 to replace 18 MacBook Pro computers thieves pilfered from El Crystal Elementary School last week.

The computers were taken around 10 p.m. on Thursday from the campus on Balboa Way and investigators haven't made any arrests, said San Bruno police Lt. Geoff Caldwell. Police haven't said if they have any suspects.

But the thief or thieves suffered a cut during the break in and left behind a blood sample, said El Crystal Principal Skip Johnson. The blood could help police track down a suspect if that person had prior convictions that led to submission of a DNA sample to authorities.

Johnson said the burglars poked a hole through a glass panel in a door and then used some sort of tool to pop open the latch. He said he suspected the thieves had some familiarity with the school's operations because they concentrated on the technology. Nothing else appears to have been taken.

While escaping, the thieves left behind four computers, but they are now in the custody of investigators. Those machines might also be damaged.

Johnson said the district is insured for the loss, but would still have to pay a $10,000 deductible. There is also the loss to students and teachers who constantly use the devices.

"This is something we use all day," said Johnson. "It is part of the culture of our school."


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Anyone with information about the burglary can call San Bruno police at 650-616-7100 or send an anonymous email to sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.