Arrests made in Marengo Academy burglary case

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

Less than a week after Project Merry Christmas money was taken from Marengo Academy, Linden police have arrested two suspects.

“We’ve made two arrests in connection with the theft,” Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron said. “We arrested a 15-year-old juvenile and 18-year-old Ward Jones. Both were students at the school.”

School officials reported the theft over the weekend, noting that the money taken was money that students had collected for Project Merry Christmas, which provides Christmas presents to needy families.

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“The kids are just sick,” Principal Timothy Thurman said about the missing money. “Especially the elementary students. They collected a pile of money and they worked hard rolling the change.”

The money was taken sometime Friday night, Dec. 3. Sgt. Scott McClure was lead investigator, and Laduron said the seargant worked tirelessly to find the culprits.

“He followed leads and talked to people,” Laduron said. “Finally last night we received a call, and that led us to the main person, then he turned in his accomplice. We certainly appreciate his hard work.”

Laduron said the two boys have admitted to the break-in and some of the money has been recovered.

The 15-year-old is being held in a juvenile facility, while Jones is being held at the Marengo County Jail. Both are awaiting bond hearings. They are both being charged with third-degree burglary, Laduron said, which is a felony charge.

“We’re still not through with the case, there may be someone else involved,” Laduron said. “We haven’t closed the book on it just yet.”