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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

25 Computers Stolen From Lab in Hotel

October 27, 2000

VERNON — Twenty-five computers intended to help low-income residents in nearby apartments "bridge the digital divide" were stolen from the Dunbar Hotel, local community development officials said Thursday.

The computers, worth $25,000 and most of them in their boxes, were in the second-floor computer lab run by the Dunbar Economic Development Corp., said agency Director Reginald Chapple. The hotel is at 4225 S. Central Ave.

The equipment was to be distributed today to people living in 22 nearby units of Section 8 assistance housing, he said. The residents, who live at least seven miles from a bank, were to be trained to use computers to receive welfare checks, look for jobs and do online banking, said EDC program manager Zakiya Kyle.

The computers were part of a project funded by the Local Initiative Support Corp., a nonprofit funding organization.

Hotel security cameras were tampered with and the recording system dismantled. No witnesses have come forward about anyone's leaving with computers through either of the hotel's two exits between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Chapple said. The theft was reported to police Wednesday afternoon.

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