San Diego authorities are investigating to see if three Riverside County men arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of stealing 29 iPads from a school near Del Mar are linked to a string of similar break-ins and thefts at area schools.
The men were arrested about 3 a.m. at the Border Patrol checkpoint along Interstate 15 at Temecula. When the driver and his passengers appeared nervous, an inspection was performed on their 1992 Lexus.
Inside the trunk were 29 iPads, a MacBook and an Epson projector, along with bolt cutters, a rubber mallet, flashlights and gloves, according to the Border Patrol.
Minutes earlier, San Diego police had gone to Del Mar Heights Elementary School to investigate a burglar alarm. Police found that iPads and a MacBook had been stolen, officials said.
In recent weeks, thieves have carted off more than $200,000 worth of tablets and laptop computers from schools in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, Poway, Solana Beach, Valley Center and Lakeside.
The three suspects arrested Wednesday were Eyon Zimmerman, 19, and Thomas Burleson, 21, both of Hemet, and Trevor Williams, 21, of Moreno Valley. They are set to be arraigned Friday in San Diego County Superior Court.
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Photo: iPads found in the trunk of 1992 Lexus and identified as being stolen from Del Mar Heights Elementary School. Credit: U.S. Border Patrol