Classmates Charged In Connection With Burglaries
(From top) Jason Schallmo, 18, James Bailey, 17, and Joshua King, 18, were charged Monday in a string of burglaries in the Will County area. Police alledge the three Crete-Monee High School classmates were part of a ring that stole more than $20,000 worth of goods from homes and businesses.
James Bailey, 18, and Jason R. Schallmo, 18, both of the 24600 block of Walnut Street, in unincorporated Crete, were each charged with one count of burglary to a golf course, in Crete. Bailey and Schallmo also were charged with one count of residential burglary to a Crete resident, as was Joshua M. King, 18, of the 3400 block of West Hamilton Road in Monee, according to authorities.
In Will County court Monday, bond was set at $35,000 each for Bailey and Schallmo and $25,000 for King, according to Chuck Pelkie, Will County state's attorney spokesman.
Schallmo and King were classmates at the high school. Schmallo was arrested Friday as he returned from his high school graduation ceremony, still wearing his cap and gown, Will County sheriff's spokesman Pat Barry said Monday.
Crete-Monee School District spokeswoman Natalie Nash said Bailey isn't a student at the high school. She refused to say if he had been a student.
She said she doesn't know any of the three men.
On Friday, authorities recovered items valued at $20,000 taken in residential and commercial burglaries in Crete, Monee and Lake County, Ind., Barry said.
Among items recovered were Native American artifacts, a motorcycle, a flat-screen television, and assorted jewelry. Police believe they know who owns most of that property, Barry said.
He said much of the property was sold to local pawnshops or directly to interested buyers. Barry said he didn't know if the four other suspects sought by police attended the high school.
Crete Police Chief Jim Paoletti said his department has worked closely with the sheriff's office on the case and he expects it to result in the solutions to 10 area burglaries.
Police recently made several arrests in connection with a series of robberies in the Willowbrook section of Crete Township, but Barry said the most recent arrests had nothing to do with the Willowbrook case.
"These guys were a little more enterprising," he said of the 18-year-olds. "They were all over the place."
Deborah Zajac, of the 24700 block of South Walnut, near where Bailey and Schallmo live, said she knew Bailey when he was younger. "He was a little kid, 8 or 10, when the family moved in," she said. But her contact with the Bailey family declined over time. "In the last several years, I really haven't seen much of anybody there. You'd go by and wave 'hello,' and that was it."
She said: "We came home Friday evening and saw the police there and I thought, 'OK, something's going on.' I am so sorry. I'm just really saddened."
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 7.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
Get the latest news at the top and bottom of every hour on News/Talk 720, WGN