COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An East-West University student accused of breaking into lockers at the South Loop school to steal and sell textbooks drew the ire of a Cook County judge who knows a thing or two about the cost of school books.
"[I am] a parent who spends a thousand dollars a year on books," Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. told Maurice Thomas, 19, during a bond court appearance Tuesday.
And the judge wasn't buying the public defender's argument for low bond for Thomas, arrested for the first time as an adult.
"It doesn't matter," Bourgeois said with disdain, before setting bond at $75,000.
Thomas is charged with burglary and theft in an alleged scheme to steal students' books and return them as used for cash at Beck's Book Store.
Prosecutors said Thomas was caught on security video using bolt cutters to break into two students' lockers at East-West's South Loop campus.
Two female co-defendants then traveled to Beck's Book Store, 60 E. Lake St., where one of them used her student ID to return the books for $168, prosecutors said.
"Like now, I am just studying for exams for my finals," said one of the students whose locker was allegedly burglarized. "It's really hard to do without my books."
Thomas was arrested at East-West Monday afternoon.
Information of Thomas' alleged co-defendants was not immediately available.