Technology stolen from Lakeside Academy - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Arrest made in theft at Lakeside Academy

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Chattanooga police arrested a man for breaking into a local school and stealing electronics that were worth thousands of dollars.

The incident happened at Lakeside Academy on December 15.

Police say 18-year-old Wendell Mclemore is accused of stealing a laptop, TV, and 5 iPads from the school.

Police say Mclemore admitted to the theft on December 21, when investigators initially questioned him. Police gave Mclemore a chance to get the stolen iPads back, but he was unable to.

Mclemore was arrested on December 26.

He is charged with theft of property over $2,500, burglary of business, theft of property over $1,000, burglary of a business, and vandalism under $1,000.

Mclemore is scheduled for court on January 2.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: Thieves broke into a Hamilton County School early Friday morning, taking thousands of dollars worth of iPads, used everyday in the classroom. 

Lakeside Academy's principal Andrea Johnson tells Channel 3, this isn't the first break-in at the elementary school  

Thieves also broke in over the Thanksgiving holiday break, bringing the total number of stolen iPads to 15. 
Johnson says the theft is especially difficult, because students worked hard to sell coupon books and cookie dough this year, in order to buy the new technology.  

" There were three windows that were broken, so one from this set of classrooms and then there are two other classrooms down there," said Principal Andrea Johnson. 

The windows have been repaired, but Johnson says the hurt feelings and questions over what happened still linger. 

" Our parents actually helped us to raise that money, so I'm sure they're just as devastated," said Johnson. 

Police say four males broke in early Friday taking nine iPads, a 60 inch color TV and a teacher's laptop.

" This is the second break-in that we've had within a month," said Johnson. " So iPads were taken in November as well." 

After hearing about Friday's break-in, Johnson tells us TVA employees reached out to help. They're now promising $5,000 dollars to Lakeside Academy this holiday season. 

" I was so excited and so grateful because they didn't have to do that," said Johnson. " We're truly grateful to them." 

A spokesperson for TVA told Channel 3, they're happy to help. 

" Our employees heard about the theft at the school and stepped up to show their support. The $5,000 donation comes from a fund separate from TVA, but supported by TVA employees through various events including golf tournaments every year," said Scott Brooks, TVA spokesperson. "The fund supports STEM-related efforts in schools throughout the TVA service territory. TVA places a strong emphasis on STEM education." 

No arrests have been made in the case. If you have any information that can help investigators, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525


PREVIOUS STORY: A Hamilton County school was broken into Friday morning.

Four thieves broke into Lakeside Academy and took thousands of dollars worth of technology that was purchased with fundraiser funds.

According to the school's principal, Andrea Johnson, the four men took nine iPads and a laptop.  They also stole a 60-inch Television.

There are no plans to purchase new replacement technology at this time.

This is a developing story.

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