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Dozens of stolen iPads missing, five teens arrested

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ST. FRANCISVILLE - Nearly a month after 80 iPads and a laptop were stolen from West Feliciana High School, investigators said five arrested suspects are cooperating.

Deputies arrested twin brothers Robert and Roderick Washington, 17, of St. Francisville along with three juveniles, ages 14, 15, and 16 on burglary charges. The Washington brothers remain in the West Feliciana Jail on separate $60,000 bonds.

Investigators said they took equipment from the school's computer lab June 26 after a routine security detail had left for the night. School employees notified the sheriff's office of the burglary the next day.

The sheriff's office said it tracked down the five suspects when one of them turned on a tablet and tried to access the school's network. Investigators were then able to track their location through the IP address and information provided by a cable company.

"When we drove up to the address, one of the ones we arrested was actually on the iPad sitting on the steps," Sheriff J Austin Daniel said.

The Washington twins were arrested later, and Daniel said they cooperated with investigators, leading to 28 of the iPads being recovered.

The boys' mother said her sons made a horrible mistake but she's upset the other three teens, whom she says were released to their parents instead of being kept in jail, aren't being given the same treatment.

"If five of them did it, then five of them should be held accountable," Donna Washington explained. "They shouldn't treat my two boys different from the others."

So far investigators have recovered a total of 40 missing tablets and the stolen laptop, but dozens more tablets remain at large.

West Feliciana School Superintendent Hollis Milton said if necessary more iPads will be bought before school starts August 13 to replace what was stolen.

"We still have some time to get those, so that number is going to be smaller... We have the funds, we'll make it work, and we're excited for our kids to come back to school," Milton said.

Anyone with information on the missing tablets is urged to call the West Feliciana Sheriff's Office at (225) 784-3136.

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