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Eagle Rock Man Charged With Stealing From Schools

March 18, 2003|David Pierson | Times Staff Writer

A 46-year-old Eagle Rock man has been charged with stealing more than $50,000 worth of property from public schools in his neighborhood, Los Angeles Unified School District police said.

Jay Bentley was apprehended Sunday after a stakeout by school police outside Eagle Rock High, where he is accused of taking computer equipment in eight separate burglaries since November, said Officer P.J. Webb.

Investigators also linked Bentley to similar late-night break-ins at nearby Rockdale and Eagle Rock elementary schools, where he allegedly took computer equipment.

A search of Bentley's home, which is two blocks from the high school, turned up more than $100,000 worth of stolen property, including a pickup truck, bicycles and computer hardware, Webb said.

Bentley, who had an outstanding warrant for other burglaries and probation violation, was being held without bail, Webb said.

Juan Flecha, principal of Eagle Rock High School, said he was relieved that a suspect had been arrested. "It's amazing that he's living only two blocks away," Flecha said of the suspect. The school is looking to see whether district insurance will cover the loss of computers, monitors and keyboards.

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