File Photo – Elmwood Elementary School in Zion | Photo: Google Street View

A 15-year-old boy, who police called a habitual criminal with three years of arrests, was arrested Monday after he stole a minivan that was parked at an elementary school in Zion.

The Zion Police Department responded around 3:43 p.m. Monday to Elmwood Elementary School, 3025 Ezra Avenue in Zion, for a report of a vehicle theft.

The victim reported that they briefly left their Chrysler Town and Country minivan unsecured, according to Zion Police Department Lt. Derek Zaloudek.

The victim also reported the keys were left in the car and they found it had been stolen upon returning to where it was parked.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the surrounding area and were able to identify the suspect, Zaloudek said.

Detectives recognized the 15-year-old Zion boy as the offender because of prior arrests.

Zaloudek said the boy is a “habitual offender” and has been arrested and charged with vehicle thefts on multiple previous occasions.

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Officers located the stolen Chrysler unoccupied two hours later in the 3000 block of Gilboa Avenue in Zion.

Officers arranged to have it returned to the owner after it was processed for evidence, Zaloudek said.

Street Crimes Unit detectives located the juvenile in the 3000 block of Ezekiel Avenue a short time later and arrested him.

The juvenile was charged for the fourth time in three years with felony vehicle theft offenses and transported to the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Complex Center.

Zaloudek said he does not have information relating to whether the suspect remains held in the jail or not.