A Riverside County man convicted of burglary and other
charges stemming from the thefts of iPads and other electronic devices from
nine San Diego County schools over a two-month period is scheduled to be
Thomas Earl Burleson, 21, was convicted last month of three charges,
including receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
Co-defendant Trevor J. Williams, also 21, was sentenced earlier this
month to seven years behind bars and Eyon Zimmerman, 19, was sentenced to five
years in prison. Both defendants pleaded guilty last month to burglary charges,
and admitted the crimes were committed to benefit their street gang.
Williams and Burleson are documented gang members and Zimmerman is a
known associate, according to Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh.
The three were charged with breaking into classrooms at schools in Del
Mar Heights, Cardiff, Lakeside and other communities, stealing iPads, laptop
computers and other electronics. Authorities said the thefts began last Nov.
Some of the defendants used their cell phones in the area of the schools
the nights of the break-ins, according to previous court testimony.
The defendants were arrested Jan. 30 at a Temecula-area Border Patrol
checkpoint. The iPads stolen from the Del Mar school earlier that morning or
the night before were recovered from the defendants' car, along with a laptop
computer, bolt cutters and a projector, McHugh said.