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DA: Suspected School iPad Burglars Have Alleged Gang Ties

Suspects Eyon Zimmerman, 19, and Thomas Burleson, 21, both of Hemet, and Trevor Williams, 21, of Moreno Valley, were arrested this week at the Interstate 15 Border Patrol checkpoint south of Temecula.

Three Riverside County men who were arrested Wednesday near Temecula are suspected of stealing more than 25 iPads from an elementary school in San Diego County earlier this week, and two of them are accused of gang ties, prosecutors said Friday.

Eyon Zimmerman, 19, and Thomas Burleson, 21, both of Hemet, and Trevor Williams, 21, of Moreno Valley, are charged with multiple felonies, including burglary, receiving stolen property, and allegations of felonies committed to benefit a criminal street gang.

The three entered not guilty pleas Friday in San Diego Superior Court, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a news release.

Williams and Burleson are documented gang members with ties to the Dorner Blocc Crips of Moreno Valley, according to prosecutors.

Zimmerman, Burleson and Williams were arrested early Wednesday Jan. 30 at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement checkpoint on Interstate 15 south of Temecula, shortly after a burglary at Del Mar Heights Elementary, according to the Border Patrol.

Twenty-nine iPads believed stolen from the school were recovered from the suspects' vehicle, Dumanis said.

In May 2011, Williams and the Dorner Blocc Crips were named by law enforcement in connection with the theft of some $70,000 worth of Apple computers from two schools in Valley Center.

More recently, since November 2012 through Jan. 29 this year, law enforcement agencies have reported a series of 11 burglaries at San Diego County schools in which thieves have stolen 115 Apple laptops and 123 iPads, Dumanis said.

San Diego Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh could not confirm whether a in which thieves allegedly made off with two Mac computers may be connected.

"We are aware of a series (of school burglaries) throughout Southern California," McHugh told Patch. "It is an ongoing investigation; we are working the law enforcement."

Members of the Dorner Blocc Crips have been identified as suspects in the burglary series through the ongoing joint investigation that includes the sheriff's departments of San Diego and Riverside counties, Carlsbad police, the FBI, and a multi-agency Computer and Technology Crimes High Tech Response Team.

"Our investigation is ongoing and more arrests in this case are possible," Dumanis said. "I want to give credit to our C.A.T.C.H. Team and all of the law enforcement agencies who are working cooperatively on these burglaries and their connections to gang activity in Southern California."

If convicted of all the charges filed against them, Zimmerman faces 13 years, Williams faces nine years, and Burleson faces seven years in state prison, Dumanis said.

On the right side February 03, 2013 at 06:39 PM
JJ, you're right. Not a big surprise.
That Temecula Guy February 04, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Brenda, they get serious cred in prison for their crimes. Gang culture is so very different and almost alien to everyone outside. The "reform" system is broken. We send young gang members to prison where they learn more about living in a gang, they learn new criminal skills, and have little chance for reform, mostly due to the gang culture they must adhere to while serving their time. When they get out, you have an even worse criminal that may actually be looking for a way to get back in prison. The ones that WANT to reform can't get a job in towns like Temecula because most places do a background check. Who wants to hire a felon? So because they can't get a job, there are only a few options if they don't have a supportive family. Many go back to crime just to eat. These guys no doubt grew up in the gang culture, which was born from prison culture. It's a never-ending cycle.
Brenda February 05, 2013 at 10:34 AM
I know TTG and it costs us taxpayers more and more money. :/ I was watching a show on prisons the other night and it was that there are large amounts, even larger then hispanic, black, white gangs in prisons and that is El Salvadorians. I was shocked that many had even been able to get into the country, and that then they are the largest gangs in our prisons. I mean serious, how in the heck did that many Salvadorians get into the USA? I can almost see Mexico cause its literally a jump, but El Salvador? Just absolutely incrediable and it made me realize there will never be an end to this stuff, fighting, drugs, gun transports, human traffic'ing because our governement is never going to stop them coming into our country. Serious.........we do not stand a chance :/ We will be overrun by gangs, more Cities will gro and grow whos police departments will not go in to calls alone, and neithter will fire trucks. We have just let this country become a horrible messs. :/
Bob Dole February 19, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Surprise, surprise, surprise.....but then again, our K-5th graders do not need iPads. Just more waste of our education dollars (and yes, i understand that much of that money is from federal grants).
Puddin Tame March 08, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Our schools are relentlessly getting burglarized of vandalized. WHY don't they have burglar alarms or night time security guards???????

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