LA GRANGE PARK – Police have arrested two individuals in connection with the alleged theft of 38 laptop computers from Barnsdale Road School on July 8.
Joseph Morici, 25, of the 800 block of Harrison Avenue, Brookfield, and Ashley Schoenle, 18, of the 5600 block of South Meade Avenue, Chicago, were charged with criminal trespass to state-supported property Monday. Police learned of their involvement in the crime Monday while investigating a bicycle theft in the 1000 block of Barnsdale Road, during which they encountered Morici.
The computears were allegedly stolen around 2 a.m. July 8, when Morici and Schoenle, along with two teenagers, ages 16 and 17, entered Barnsdale Road School through an unlocked window. Once inside, they took 38 laptops from a storage area, police said.
District officials said the school is undegroing construction and that a worker accidentally left a bathroom window open before the incident. The stolen computers are older and weren't being used by teachers, officials said, adding that all expensive equipment was removed before construction began.
Nearly half of the stolen computers have been recovered, and police are working to obtain the rest of them. At the request of school officials, felony burglary charges were not issued against Morici and Schoenle, who were released on bond and are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 11 in Maywood. The teenagers were released to their parents.
School officials said they did not want to pursue felony charges that would remain on Morici's and Schoenle's record permanently. Instead, they are pursuing a charge of criminal trespass to state-supported proeprty, a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison.