Nine teens and a 25-year-old man have been charged with stealing more than 300 iPads and other Apple gear worth nearly $100,000 from a Near South Side elementary school last week.
The iPads, seven MacBook Pros and numerous keyboards were stolen sometime in the overnight hours Thursday from carts stored in the auditorium of Drake Elementary School at 2710 S. Dearborn Ave., authorities said Tuesday.
According to a Chicago police report, an alarm at the school was deactivated for more than five hours after the principal secured the building and called CPS headquarters to turn on the alarm. CPS activated the alarm at 2:18 a.m. and it went off about 17 minutes later, the report said.
CPS spokeswoman Keiana Barrett declined to comment on what happened with the alarm but said the computers were promised to the school for taking in students who were required to change buildings as part of the closure of more than 50 schools this year.
Cook County prosecutors said Jabare McChristian, 19, of the 2800 block of South State Street, and Devin Pearson, 17, of the 2000 block of South State Street, were charged with felony burglary after admitting to police their part in the thefts. Bail was set at $75,000 for each.
Eugene McQueen, 25, of the 2900 block of South Federal Street, was charged with misdemeanor theft.
Seven others — a 13-year-old boy, two 15-year-olds girls, one 15-year-old boy and three 16-year-old boys — face juvenile charges ranging from felony theft to misdemeanor theft, police said.
McChristian told police he took a MacBook he found near the school field house but left behind an iPad because it did not work, according to Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto. Pearson took three iPads that he hid near his apartment complex because he worried they could be tracked and then tossed them into a trash bin when he saw police, she said.
According to the report, officers were called to the school Friday morning and met by the principal, Keshia Warner, and a CPS security manager. The two told officers that the school's engineer had found several storage containers broken into and the tablets and computers missing, the report said.
Prosecutors did not say how the 10 suspects gained access to the school. The police report said officers did not see any sign of forced entry.
Police and school officials said the theft occurred between 8:45 p.m. Thursday and 2:35 a.m. Friday.
Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas contributed.