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3 teens in custody after school burglary in east Fort Worth

Three teenagers were in custody early Monday after patrol officers caught them shortly after midnight trying to escape from an east-side middle school where the teacher's lounge had been burgled, police said.

Police responded about 12:40 a.m. to a burglary alarm at Morningside Middle School, 2751 Mississippi Avenue, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.

When they arrived they determined three individuals were inside the teacher's lounge, Henderson said.

"Officers began setting up a perimeter around the school and a Smith Security guard entered the building," he said. "The burglars heard the guard enter and began running through the school in an attempt to escape."

The suspects each had backpacks which they ditched as they jumped a fence, Henderson said.

Officers opened the backpacks and found laptop computers, several USB drives, blank CDs, and a Sony PlayStation.

"The three then split up thinking they would have a better chance of getting away," he added. "Not so."

One suspect, identified as Jose Gallardo, 17, was found hiding beneath a table in a backyard on East Robert Street, three blocks north of the school. He put up a struggled before officers handcuffed him, Henderson said.

The other suspects fled to an abandoned house on Colvin Avenue, two blocks north of the school, Henderson said.

"Officers were able to track them down," he said, "and soon they too were in handcuffs sitting in patrol vehicles."

They did not resist arrest, Henderson noted.

Included were 19-year-old Samuel Correa, he said, and a 13-year old boy, whose name is not being published because he is a juvenile.

Gallardo faces charges of burglary, evading arrest, and resisting arrest, Henderson said. Correa and the juvenile, he added, face charges of burglary and evading arrest.

Monday's arrests were the latest in a series property crimes at Fort Worth campuses which have prompted officials to boost security at the schools.

Security patrols were doubled at all campuses to build a "zero tolerance" against burglaries and recent thefts of copper wiring at the campuses, school officials said.