$50,000 donated to Sophia Academy after theft - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

$50,000 donated to Sophia Academy after theft

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, RI- An office is destroyed; 50 laptops, 19 electronic readers, and 7 projectors are stolen from classrooms at Sofia Academy in Providence.

Head of School, Gigi Dibello said, "Things were a mess; safe was sprawled out on the floor, the door ripped off the safe."

The thieves broke in through a side door which leads into the school and went undetected by the alarm system.

It happened over the weekend and not long after the school was targeted, right across the street, the St. Edward food pantry was also hit.

"They ransacked the offices, they ransacked the medical offices," said Rev. Edward Cardente.

At St. Edwards, they got away with gift cards and medicine but they left the food alone.

At the school, the vandals were smart enough to turn off the video surveillance system and then find a hidden key to un–lock a case with the tablets inside.

"It didn't feel hap hazard or random. It felt well coordinated," said Dibello.

This bad news has quickly turned positive for the school. Donations for new equipment are coming in, including $25,000 each from Hasbro Toy Company and Brown University.

Dibello adds, "24 hours later, you know I just feel totally overwhelmed with the generosity of donors who are known to us, donors who are new to us, donors unknown to us."

The independent school relies solely on donations for its 60 girls. It's moving to a new location in February.

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