More than a dozen Cleveland Heights-University Heights students have reported that someone stole their school-issued iPads — sometimes by force — in the past two weeks, according to a statement from the school district.
"This news frustrates us and outrages us," Superintendent Douglas Heuer said in the media release. "Many people know our middle school students carry iPads, making them targets for theft."
Cleveland Heights Patch reported in an article published Oct. 11 that a 12-year-old girl said she was punched by a teen, and then he stole her iPad while she was walking with a friend at 4:40 p.m. Oct. 2 near Nobleshire and Noble roads.
The next day, a similar incident occurred on the 900 block of Pembrook Road. Two teens approximately 16 to 18 years old ran up to a 13-year-old girl and stole her iPad from her hands at about 3:30 p.m.
And more recently, students reported iPad thefts on the 2700 block of Scarborough, Antisdale and Staunton and on the 3600 block of Monticello Boulevard between approximately 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10. One 16-year-old boy, who is accused of pushing a victim during the theft, is a suspect in one of the incidents and was arrested by police.
On Oct. 11, three Monticello Middle School students said their book bags were stolen during a practice after school. In at least two incidents, children said the suspects, four boys or men, drove a tan Chevy Impala.
"We are working – and will continue to work – with the Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and South Euclid police departments to see that the individuals who have threatened and stole from our students are apprehended and brought to justice," Heuer said.
"We ask all residents to work with us to protect our students and make sure they receive the best education possible. If you hear or see anything, please share what you know with the district and local police authorities. Please help us ensure our students safety and that they have access to technology that will prepare them for the future."