One of the suspects was arrested Saturday morning as he returned home from his high school graduation. He was still wearing his cap and gown when police put him in handcuffs.
The burglaries happened in the Chicago suburbs of Crete and Monee and in Lake County, Indiana.
Investigators suspect the group of teenagers stole much more than the $20,000 worth of goods they recovered. The ring allegedly operated for at least the last year and was responsible for dozens of burglaries in the southwest suburbs.
The stash of stolen goods involves rare World War II medals, Native American artifacts, jewelry, a shotgun, even old paper currency from Iraq. And that is just what police recovered a search warrant at the home of two of the teenage suspects.
"A lot of family relics, historical memorabilia, just anything that they thought that they could convert into money," said Sgt. Duane Davis, Will County Sheriff's Dept.
All three suspects met at Crete Monee High School. James Bailey, 17, and Jason Schallmo, 18, both live together in a home in Crete. Joshua King, 18, of Monee is also charged. Charges include burglary, residential burglary and possession of stolen property.
Police recovered a stash of stolen property worth an estimated $20,000. But they say they believe the suspects unloaded the majority of the goods at pawn shops. The ring operated in eastern Will County and northwest Indiana allegedly for the last year or so, following a basic pattern starting with a knock at the front door.
"If they didn't receive a response of any type, they would ring bells, ring the doorbells and then if they didn't obtain any response from the inside, they would turn around and force entry into the homes," said Sgt. Davis.
One of the suspects, Joshua King, was released on bond on Monday night.
Police are still looking for as many as four other suspects who were allegedly involved. It's unclear at this point whether they were also students at the high school.