Sources: Union Leader's Son Charged In Connection With IPad Theft From Sandy-Damaged School
Sources tell NY1 that the son of a construction union vice president became on Thursday the fifth suspect arrested in connection with the alleged stealing of iPads from a Queens school badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
John Norbury, 25, seen above, who according to sources belongs to Construction and General Building Laborers' Local 79, turned himself in to the 100th police precinct on Thursday afternoon.
NY1 has learned that 84 tablets disappeared from the Scholars' Academy in Rockaway Park on November 9-10 while repair work was being done on the school, which was without power at the time.
By Thursday, authorities had been able to recover 20 of the stolen tablets, according to sources.
Sources tell NY1 that while Norbury is the son of Local 79's vice president, the union official has not been implicated in the burglary.
Police previously arrested four Queens residents in connection with the case and they were arraigned on April 18. They are 51-year-old Luis Calle, 52-year-old Romulo Orellana, 22-year-old Edgar Orellana and 46-year-old Flavio Orellano.
Sources say those Norbury and the other four suspects were all construction workers belonged to Local 79, and that Romulo and Edgar Orellana are father and son.
By late Thursday Norbury was awaiting arraignment, but all other suspects are facing burglary charges. So far, only Calle and Orellano are facing charges of possession of stolen property.
The School Construction Authority and the New York City Police Department worked together on the case.
This is the second reported incident of construction workers allegedly looting Scholars' Academy in the aftermath of Sandy.
Back in February, another construction worker, Kevin Smith, 43, was arrested after allegedly stealing two Apple computers from the same school back in December.
The school's principal told NY1 at the time that state-of-the-art video surveillance system at Scholars' Academy had been restored at the time of the burglary, which helped investigators with that case.
The principal also said then that school did not have insurance to cover the loss of about $100,000 in stolen equipment, including the iPads, laptops and two automated external defibrillators.
Sources say the two burglaries are not related.
About 30 city schools reported looting in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.