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10 nabbed in $100,000 iPad, laptop heist from South Side grade school

Jabare McChristian. / Phofrom Chicago police.

Jabare McChristian. / Photo from Chicago police.

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Updated: September 4, 2013 11:14AM



Ten people, including a 13-year-old boy, were arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 worth of iPads and laptops from the auditorium of a Bronzeville school last week.

Jabare McChristian, 19, and Devin Pearson, 17, were ordered held in lieu of $75,000 bail Tuesday for the their alleged roles in the swindle at Drake Elementary School.

But others also helped in the scheme that involved Thursday’s theft of 300 laptops, seven MacBook Pros and other devices that cost $94,000, Cook County prosecutors said.

Eugene McQueen, 25, of the 2900 block of South Federal; a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy were charged with misdemeanor theft, police said. Another 16-year-old boy was charged felony theft and three other boys — ages 13, 15 and 16 — and a 15-year-old girl were charged with felony burglary.

Police didn’t give details about what McQueen and the juveniles took but in court, Assistant State’s Attorney’s Lorraine Scaduto detailed McChristian and Pearson’s alleged actions.

McChristian allegedly admitted to police that he took an iPad from a metal storage area but later left it because he didn’t think it worked.

So instead, he took a MacBook from the school, in 2700 block of South Dearborn, Scaduto said.

Pearson took three iPads, covers and cases and hid them near his apartment because he thought they had tracking devices, Scaduto said.

When Pearson heard police were in the area, he dumped the iPads in a trash can near his home, Scaduto said.

McChristian was arrested in Rockford on Monday and Pearson was arrested at a CHA building in the 2700 block of South State — near his residence.

McChristian, of the 2800 block of South State, and Pearson, of the 2000 block of South State, were both charged with felony burglary.

Some of the stolen equipment has been recovered, according to a statement from Chicago Public Schools.

“While the investigation continues, we will work with Drake Elementary leadership to minimize the impact this occurrence will have on student learning,” the statement said.

Police said additional offenders are being sought and investigative efforts to locate and recover all of the stolen property continue.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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