OPRF student arrested in master key theft

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

A 15-year-old Oak Park boy was arrested and charged Oct. 18 after he allegedly used a copy of a master key to break into a gym locker at Oak Park and River Forest High School, police said.

The OPRF student faces three felony charges resulting from an incident, Oct. 12, when he allegedly took $10 and two keys on a keychain from a locked gym locker, said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds.

The investigation of the missing master key was first reported on OakPark.com.

The youth is charged with theft of the actual key, theft of belongings from the locker, and possession of burglary tools to commit the locker theft, Reynolds said. He told police he got the key from a former student, Reynolds said.

The student voluntarily came to the police station for questioning and was subsequently arrested around 11:30 a.m. The theft was reported Oct. 13 by the student missing the items, said Kay Foran, communications coordinator for the school.

Reynolds said police have no information that there are other keys floating around.

"We'll investigate until all leads are exhausted," he said.

No additional charges had been filed Monday and the boy is expected to appear in juvenile court.

Foran said a first offense of theft in the school's code of conduct could result in anything from three to five days of after-school detention to 10 days of out-of-school suspension with referral to a disciplinary hearing. The school's disciplinary process is separate from charges filed by police and is ongoing, she said.

An Oct. 14 letter from Supt. Steven Isoye and Principal Nathaniel Rouse alerted parents about the incident and said the school would transition to a new lock system for the gym lockers.

Foran said Monday more than 2,000 locks had been replaced, which accounted for all the gym lockers. She said athletic department locks will begin being replaced this week.

Reader Comments

8 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

another OP parent  

Posted: October 28th, 2011 9:14 AM

Thes keys are not any old key - they are master keys! Even one master key is a very big issue.

OP parent  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 7:53 PM

$10 and 2 keys = three felony charges? Maybe I'm out of the loop on the justice system, but am I the only one shocked to hear about such a draconian penalty? (And yet bike thefts seem to go unpunished, huh.) Would love to see WJ consider an investigative piece on juvenile justice and sentencing in general, but as a Cook county taxpayer I'm wondering how many kids we're paying to house and feed for stealing $10 worth of property. Wow.

Oprfhs parent from Oak park  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 5:59 PM

My high school son said the students were charged for the locks. Glad to hear there was increased security in the locker athletic rooms. Increased monitoring on a permanent basis would help. We have had several items stolen at the high school. It is a VERY underreported issue.

To DickCheneyMansion  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 5:29 PM

Of course, the waterboarding part you mean figuratively, however the punishment you came up with fits...Right on! For Laughing, 15 is sophomore.

Just Curious  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 4:24 PM

I'm wondering what the "former student" did with the key when he/she had it - wear it on a chain as a sign of affection for OPRFHS? Or maybe use of this key has been going on for a while. So besides all the stuff stolen there's all the angry exchanges between parents and kids over "lost" stuff. And a BIG question as to why this didn't come to the surface sooner. Maybe we'll need to redo those OP crime figures!

Teacherpreacher from Oak park  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 4:18 PM

The expense involved most likely will niot be covered by insurance so the taxpayers will have to Cover the cost.And the former student is old enough to be named and chaged as an accessory.

DickCheneyMansion from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 3:30 PM

As I've stated earlier, waterboarding this young man is a perfectly appropriate punishment. The cost of 2000 locks alone is $ 10 - 20K. Who's going to pay that? The young man should. At min wage ($8.50), that means 1176 hours of service to the school...scrubbing toilets, sweeping floors, etc, all with a big sign on his back. That might serve as a deterent. If the former student who gave him the key is caught, the same to him x2. Plus the Marine equivalent of a Code Red. Enough of this!

Laughing  

Posted: October 19th, 2011 2:18 PM

Picture please. How much stuff did he really steal? and for how long? 15 is only freshman.

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