Hawthorn Elementary North in Vernon Hills was one of several schools in Hawthorn Community Consolidated School District 73 to be placed on a soft lockdown Monday morning. | Photo: Google Street View

Police say the lockdowns put into place at several Vernon Hills schools on Monday were due to a suspect with a warrant who fled from officers as they arrived at his workplace.

Hawthorn District 73 Superintendent of Schools Pete Hannigan sent an alert to families Monday morning about a soft lockdown that went into effect at all of the district’s schools, except the Lincoln Early Center, around 9:57 a.m.

Hannigan said the Vernon Hills Police Department advised the district to go into soft lockdown due to police activity in the area.

“This measure is out of an abundance of caution, and is taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Hannigan said.

All exterior school doors were locked and no entry or exit was allowed during the lockdown.

Students, teachers and staff continued typical indoor learning activities.

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Hannigan asked parents to not attempt to pick up their children from school.

“The safety and education of our students are our utmost priorities, and we are committed to keeping you informed about any developments,” Hannigan added.

The lockdowns were lifted at District 73 schools by 11:20 a.m. Monday.

Vernon Hills Deputy Police Chief Shannon Holubetz said the Libertyville and Mundelein police departments were searching for a suspect in the area of several District 73 schools.

“While the man was not known to be a threat to the schools, their staff, or students, schools were placed on a soft lockdown out of an abundance of caution,” Holubetz told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Mundelein Police Chief Jason Seeley said his department and the Libertyville Police Department were attempting to locate a suspect working at a business in Mundelein.

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The suspect had an active Lake County warrant and was also connected to an active case in Libertyville involving a violation of an order of protection, according to Libertyville Police Department Sgt. Scott Peeler.

Officers arrived at the business and the suspect fled on foot. The suspect’s path was toward the Vernon Hills schools.

“There was no indication the individual was armed or a danger to the public, but because the school was in the direct path they fled, it was appropriate to notify the school,” Seeley said.

Officers searched the area but did not locate the suspect, Seeley said, adding that the investigation is ongoing and they will consider charges, in addition to the warrant, for fleeing from police.