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Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake police arrest suspect in theft of middle school's iPads

Stolen iPads estimated to worth between $7,000 and $9,000

Carlos J. Lucas of Chicago was charged with one count of felony theft on Thursday following reports of theft of school property at Richard Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake back in January.
Carlos J. Lucas of Chicago was charged with one count of felony theft on Thursday following reports of theft of school property at Richard Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake back in January.

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Chicago man was charged with theft on Thursday after a Crystal Lake school's iPads went missing during winter break, according to Crystal Lake police.

On Jan. 3, the Crystal Lake Police Department responded to the report of theft at Bernotas Middle School, 170 North Oak St., Crystal Lake. According to police, school staff reported 24 Apple iPads missing from two separate classrooms, leading Crystal Lake detectives to conduct several interviews and review multiple leads over a three-month period.

Working with District 47’s Information Technology Department, it was discovered the district contracted several companies to perform various maintenance-related services at Bernotas Middle School during the school's two-week winter holiday break.

After receiving notice of the activation of one of the stolen iPads, detectives issued an arrest warrant for the suspect, Carlos J. Lucas, 30, of Chicago. According to Crystal Lake police, Lucas was working for one of the maintenance companies contracted by District 47 at the time.

On Thursday, Lucas voluntarily surrendered to Crystal Lake police.

Lucas was charged with theft of over $500 from a school, a class-2 felony, and was recently released from custody after posting 10 percent of the assigned $50,000 bond.

Dave Jenkins, District 47 assistant superintendent of technology services, said the school has not received any of the iPads back at this time and they are working with the contractor to provide payment for the stolen iPads. Jenkins predicts the total worth of the stolen iPads to be between $7,200 to $9,100.

"We are grateful for the diligent efforts of our Technology Solutions Team and Crystal Lake Police Department in tracking down the person responsible for the theft of iPads. It was impressive to see both units of government working together to bring this case to a close," Jenkins said.

Lucas' court hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., June 6 at the McHenry County Courthouse.

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