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The (happy) story of a stolen Kindle

Stolen Kindle, retrieved.

favicon One of the things that makes the Kindle Classroom Project unique is that students get to keep their Kindle, day and night, at school and at home, and everywhere else in between.

Which means that sometimes, things happen.

One day back in February, I got a call from Deputy Sheriff Strickland of Santa Clara County. “I think we have some of your property,” she said.

I didn’t know what the deputy was talking about, so I asked for more details.

“Apparently, some students were on a field trip, and their backpacks were ransacked by a thief,” she said. “But we’ve retrieved your Kindle, and you can come pick it up.”

The rumor goes that a student in San Francisco joined his classmates on a golfing trip, and while they were out on the course, a total stranger decided to steal backpacks the students had left in their van.

Somehow, the backpack-taking man was found and apprehended — in Cupertino, about an hour away from the scene of the crime.

Good thing each Kindle comes with a glossy neon sticker, like the one below. Deputy Strickland said she appreciated the easy-to-read phone number. “You wouldn’t have gotten your stuff back without it,” she added.


This ordeal restored my hope in the justice system, though the amount of paperwork (case numbers! evidence letters! phone calls! decisions not to press additional charges!) could have been streamlined. (The process took two months.)

If you’re looking for a treat, please swing by the evidence room at Santa Clara County Sheriff Department. (Unfortunate pre-requisite: Have something stolen.) From the bullet-resistant glass, you can view the stash of unclaimed stolen property. It goes on forever. David, who keeps track of everything, has the eye of an interior decorator. Portraits and paintings, for example, are hung up, while the rest of the merchandise lines the space in an organized mayhem. It might be a good episode of “Hoarders.”

I’m happy that everything turned out well. Kindle #KK23 is now safe, sound, and ready to go to a new student soon. (Jonathan got a replacement Kindle back in February and has been reading tons of books since.) favicon


  1. micheleg

    I like this a lot.
    Here’s why:
    1. True crime. The intrigue! Very exciting.
    2. Happy ending. Jonathan T. got a replacement Kindle, so his reading was not interrupted, and you got your Kindle back, to pass on to some other lucky boy or girl!
    3. Interior decorating tip. I’ve been looking for someone with a good eye, to help me display my cache of looted items. I’ll be contacting David right away!
    Thank you.

Please share your brilliant insights!