Police investigate more than 120 iPads stolen from North Lawndale school

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Police investigate iPads stolen from North Lawndale school
An investigation is underway after more than 120 iPads were stolen from a North Lawndale school.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An investigation is underway after more than 120 iPads were stolen from a North Lawndale school. The burglary happened over the Memorial Day weekend and is affecting students who returned to class on Tuesday.

The school year is winding down for students at Charles Hughes Elementary School, but instead of gearing up for summer break, they're dealing with the theft of more than 120 iPads worth $49,000 from the computer lab.

"That's really distressing because usually I never heard of any trouble happening at this school," said Gregory Johns, student's grandparent.

"I don't feel it's right for them to keep breaking in schools and taking things that kids need to learn off of," said Tina Perez, parent.

The burglary happened early in the morning on Memorial Day. Chicago police say they responded to a call of a suspicious person outside of the school around 5 a.m.

They found a smashed window on the south side of the building and inside, several safes were overturned. The iPads were being used by the school's fifth, sixth and seventh graders.

"They use it to get on websites their teachers tell them to get on," said Zaria Hunter, student.

Hughes was designated a welcoming school at the beginning of the year, and given the iPads as part of the district's pledge to provide new iPads for every welcoming school.

Chicago Public Schools issued a statement that says, in part, "...While the investigation continues, CPS will work with school leadership to minimize the impact this incident will have on student learning."

In the meantime, students and parents are left wondering who stole the iPads and why.

"Just for them to go straight for the most expensive things in the school that says something of an inside job to me," said Johns.

The principal of the school said police are reviewing footage from surveillance cameras on the building and that the district has GPS tracking technology and insurance to protect the iPads.