By Devin Rose
Oak Park and River Forest High School will transition to a new lock system for the school's gym lockers by Friday after it was discovered last week that a student was in possession of a copy of a master key that provides access to current gym locks, according to an Oct. 14 letter from school officials.
Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose said the police department was continuing to investigate Monday and could not say how many thefts had occurred or how long they had been going on.
"That's what we're trying to determine," Ambrose said, adding the department is working with the school to see how many thefts they've had and if they can be connected.
To his knowledge, no one has been charged.
According to a police summary report sent by the department Monday, an unknown person broke into a locked gym locker at the school, Oct. 7, and took a silver iPod Touch with a black screen. The loss was estimated at $300. It is unclear if this is related to the broader investigation.
A reported theft from a gym locker Thursday led to the discovery, the letter from Supt. Steven Isoye and Principal Nathaniel Rouse said. School officials have recovered the copied key and students began exchanging olds locks for new ones on Monday. By Friday, remaining blue or red locks on gym lockers will be removed. The school will provide additional security in locker room areas until the transition is complete.
Kay Foran, communications coordinator for the school, said Tuesday morning that about 2,000 locks had been replaced on the majority of the gym lockers.
All athletic department locks will also be replaced after the gym lock transition is complete.
Foran said there is nothing at this point indicating a similar issue with the lockers in the school's main hallways. She said one student so far was victimized by theft in this incident.
"We are relieved — if saddened — to discover what we believe is the cause of one aspect of a theft issue we have spent so much time and effort investigating," the letter said.