Police: Man sneaks into elementary school, steals from teacher's purse

(Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Zion man has been charged with sneaking into a north suburban Gages Lake elementary school last week and stealing a debit and credit card from a teacher’s purse.

Lavonte M. Murel, 20, faces charges of burglary to a school, identity theft, and unlawful use of credit card, all felonies, according to a statement from the Lake County sheriff’s office.

About 4:15 p.m. Nov. 30, surveillance video at Woodland Elementary School, at 17371 W. Gages Lake Rd. in Gages Lake, captured footage of a black male entering the the school, then entering a classroom and remaining inside the room for a short period of time before leaving, police said.

A teacher reported to the Gurnee Police Department on Dec. 2 that a debit card and credit card were missing from her purse and that the cards had been used to spend more than $1,200 in unauthorized purchases, police said.

On Dec. 4, detectives identified the man in the video as Murel and he was arrested without incident at his home in the 1900 block of Jethro Avenue in Zion, police said.

Murel told investigators he unlawfully entered the school and said that he drove there to apply for a job, but instead decided to enter the school and look for items to steal, police said. He is scheduled for a bond hearing Sunday.

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