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Personal electronics theft prevention Answered

My daughter is going into high school and has had her scientific calculator stolen for three years in a row at school. These are pricey, running from $30-$40 each. Besides that, all the other things in her pencil bag, like compasses, triangles, pens, mechanical pencils. Frankly, I'm sick of my daughter not being prepared for class and spending money for the reprobates to just steal it.  Is there any way to tag her calculator economically to track it down?


Silly question, but why does your daughter not just keep her calculator in her pocket?

Because she's a girl, silly boy. We don't always have pockets...besides that, have you seen how big they are? There are things to consider, like dressing for P.E., etc., that makes that impractical.When not being carried, her bag goes in her locker, but she has had a problem with a few people bullying her lie this for years, and the school hasn't been very responsive.

Ongoing bullying shouldn't be ignored by the school.

The school has a legal responsibility for the physical and emotional safety of your daughter - if they do not fulfill that responsibility, then you are well within your rights as a parent to involve the local police. Your daughter is, after all is said and done, the victim of several crimes (the UK term would be "robbery with menaces").

(It's been a couple of decades since anybody called me "silly boy"!)

Carve: "Stolen from " on it.

(I just think 'handlers' don't like goods on which the word 'stolen' is written. And in general, if it isn't stolen but just lost, people can see who it belonged to. Also, if you lend it out, people won't forget to return it so easily. )

I meant "Stolen from: (daughter's name) ".

( I used "<" brackets, but it was probably interpreted as something html-ish)

ive seen bags made of steel cable mesh. these can be padlocked. sometimes its inconvenient to keep all valuables on ones person at all times.

I will research that, thank you for the reply.

Stealing from school bags isn't always about the intrinsic value of the items but is often a form of bullying, knowing that a kid can get into trouble with every teacher for not being prepared for class is often all the bully needs to get a cheap thrill out of the theft.
Pencil cases are a favourite target because they are not instantly missed as would be the case with the theft of a school bag but they have an impact on almost every class, it's difficult to get through a school day without pens, pencils & the other contents and it can be difficult to replace quickly.
I would consider indelibly marking the calculator, preferably with either a chemical marker that will bond with the plastic surface or engraving into the plastic with a rotary tool followed up with permanent marker into the engraved surface; not only would it make identification of property easier but it would also make it much harder to sell or pass onto someone else.
I used to do this with my sons property when they were at school along with marking either inside the case or inside the battery compartment.

I think you have bigger issues here, mind you, from my NYC perspective. It would be odd that the calculator is stolen for three years in a row. I do not know where or what kind of school or the behavior of the kids at the school but here all the students use the $100+ TI-83,84,89.. or can use the few loaners in class. Possible motivation for the kid to "lose" that calculator to "upgrade" to the graphing one needed for class. Is the kid a target of bullies, considering the other "trivial" items missing from the pencil bag. Ipods and iphones are the more likely prospects for getting stolen, not the calculators. Does the child have a cellphone and act responsibly with it? Even a calculator is guarded as a high value item like their transit pass.

Sounds like a problem with your daughter being able to keep up with her stuff. A $30 calc isn't something that students with sticky fingers would be going after. If they are the type to steal stuff then they probably aren't worried about having a calc to do there math work. Besides there is no resale value to those items. So whats the point it taking them. I think a talk with your daughter is in order.

Security issue-instructables. Parenting advice-NOT instructables.

We live in a poor school district whose first priority is sports, not buying textbooks and calculators, so loaners is not an option. Yes, she has a cell phone and is a very responsible student, albeit, somewhat disorganized. This is a bullying issue. This is a question about security, not my daughter's integrity, so please focus on that.