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February 1, 2015

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Boy, 15, run over by SUV and killed during theft of iPad


Jackie Valley

Renee Gardner, 38, adds a bouquet of flowers, card and candle to a memorial for 15-year-old Marcos Vincente Arenas on Friday, May 17, 2013. Metro Police say Arenas, a freshman at Bonanza High School, was run over the previous day as he was being robbed of his iPad. Arenas was transported to University Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

Updated Friday, May 17, 2013 | 2:54 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

This photo shows what Metro Police described as a "person of interest" in connection with the theft of an iPad in which a teen boy was ran over and killed by an SUV on Thursday, May 16, 2013.

Click to enlarge photo

This photo shows what Metro Police described as a "vehicle of interest" in connection with the theft of an iPad in which a teen boy was ran over and killed by an SUV on Thursday, May 16, 2013.

A teenager died Thursday after a man grabbed an iPad out of his hands and fled in an SUV that ran over the boy as he struggled to hold on to the tablet.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Marcos Vincente Arenas, 15, of Las Vegas. He was a freshman at Bonanza High School, officials with the Clark County School District confirmed.

Metro Police also released photos of what were described as a "person of interest and a vehicle of interest" in the case.

“There has got to be people who saw stuff, and we want those people to come forward,” Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said.

Just after 4 p.m. Thursday, Metro Police were called to the scene of a hit-and-run at the intersection of Charleston Boulevard and Scholl Drive, about a half mile from Bonanza High School.

Investigators determined Arenas was walking on the south side of Charleston Boulevard carrying the iPad when a white vehicle, believed to be a Ford Explorer or Expedition manufactured between 2008 and 2010, stopped and a man exited the passenger side of the vehicle.

The man attempted to steal the iPad and started to drag the teen, who was trying to hold on to the device, police said.

Arenas was dragged to the vehicle, and the suspect got back into the SUV with the teen still grasping at the tablet or somehow being held by the suspect, according to a Metro news release.

The vehicle then fled the area westbound on Charleston Boulevard with Arenas still at the passenger side door. Arenas fell and was struck by the vehicle, police said.

He died at University Medical Center.

Grief counselors were dispatched to Bonanza High School today to help students and staff cope with the death.

A memorial at the site of the deadly incident was growing today in honor of Arenas. It included a pot of flowers with this note attached from his grandfather: “I love you Marcos. I miss you!!”

Renee Gardner, 38, who lives in an apartment complex across the street from were Arenas was attacked, added a bouquet of flowers, candle and card to the memorial.

As the mother of an 11-year-old boy, Gardner said, Arenas’ death especially pains her.

“My child has an iPad from school,” she said. “I don’t let it come home; I let it stay at school.”

“This could have been anyone’s child,” Gardner said. “It could have been mine.”

The suspect who exited the vehicle and accosted the teen was described as a white male adult in his late 20s, about 6 feet tall and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds.

He has short blond hair, which was slicked back and shaved on the sides and a neatly trimmed beard.

He was last seen wearing a white tank top and blue jeans.

The person driving the vehicle was described as a black male adult in his mid-20s with a medium build and a fade haircut. He may have large tattoos on both arms and was last seen wearing a black shirt and possibly a long chain necklace with a pendant.

The iPad that was stolen was not a school-issued iPad, Clark County School District Police Detective Mitch Maciszak said.

Metro detectives noticed a rise in iPad thefts from juveniles about three months ago, Cassell said.

The crime is part of a trend called “apple picking” — street slang used to describe thefts of Apple products, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads, Cassell said.

“They’re valuable; they are something that can be quickly sold,” he said. “They’re lightweight, portable — you can run and hide with them. It’s about the next best thing to stealing money.”

The district has distributed more than 7,000 iPads to students at five low-income elementary schools.

Of those iPads, about 80 of them have been stolen, although it is unknown if they were taken forcibly or stolen from an unattended backpack. The majority of stolen iPads have been recovered with the help of local pawn shops and the iPad’s GPS, Maciszak said.

Metro officers have arrested several suspects from two groups — one operating in the northwest valley and one downtown — accused of stealing iPads from juveniles, Cassell said.

Some of the cases involved older teens stealing from either younger teens or children, Cassell said.

Police are again advising children to conceal their iPads and to not use them in public. If children are confronted by a thief, they should surrender their iPad, Maciszak said.

“It’s property. It can be recovered,” Maciszak said. “Your life is more valuable than a piece of property.”

Police ask that anyone with information contact Metro’s homicide section at 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555 or online at

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  1. This really breaks my heart. A young child - trying to hold on to something dear to him - only to be accosted by the epitome of human evil.

    Condolences to the family and may this innocent child, Marcos Vincente Arenas, rest in peace.

    I wish the family strength and resolve through this very difficult time.

    To Metro, the community supports you and has faith that you will bring these monsters to justice.

  2. Sometimes, it is easier to give up something like an IPod then your life....

  3. Terrible tragedy. These types of snatch-and-grab crimes of electronic devices are increasing all over the world; it's one of the reasons the New York Attorney General is pushing for a federal law to keep stolen phones and iPads from being reactivated on a cellular network.

  4. Was the ipad the boys personal property or was it one that he was using from his school? Of course he didn't want to lose it either way. But funny enough the Sun ran a story expressing worry that kids with school issued ipads would become the target of thieves. It looks like that's becoming a reality.

  5. With these descriptions and photos, combined with such a tragic death of an innocent child, someone who knows who these people are will have to come forward in order to sleep at night.

  6. Find out his Apple ID, then log onto the iCloud website and activate "Find my iPad". The thing will report back it's GPS coordinates next time it's online and connected to WiFi. It's not hard to locate stolen Apple products to recover them.

  7. Senseless, tragic, heart-wrenching...

    Its the kind of crime that should be punished severely just for the theft alone.

    Those that prey on the community in this manner deserve NO QUARTER.

    We, the Peeps, must stand up to mindless, random lawlessness perpetrated by scumbags...

    My sincere condolences to the family.

  8. Petty crime, huh. When you commit any crime, no matter how miner, there can be serious unintended consequences--that might include the death penalty and/or life in prison. This is part of why things have degenerated--we/juries/public let them off when they do "small" bad things.

  9. Self absorbed doesn't begin to describe where Perps are coming from. Did you here of the anchor baby all growed up? FIVE murders so he could burglarize two old folks and set the house on fire. Killed another guy for his truck so he could change vehicles. Two more killed in another house. I-80 Reno area this past week. You know, a jury MIGHT "understand" the inadvertent death of one homeowner who stumbled onto the scene but intentional breaking into and killing homeowners to burglarize--and then to torch the house. The property damage alone is more than this deadbeat could ever produce in his lifetime.

  10. So very sad, and preventable. IF Marcos would have listened and followed directions that were given to him during his iPad orientation and followed up by the support of school staff, this tragic loss of his life, might not have happened. He is partially responsible because he failed to follow prescribed directions, he failed to follow rules that are in place for all who check out school district electronics.

    Absent this being a case of a school district iPad, if it was a privately, home owned device, it would be up to his parents to instruct this child of safety precautions and supervise the child with the device. Too many parents purchase electronics for their children without setting down with them and discussing use, safety, and supervising them. It seems to be the norm, any more.

    If anything, it illustrates a point, being, that is there is a percentage of children who are enrolled in public school, who possess a disregard towards the rules and lack respect towards those attempting to educate them and help them have a better life and future.

    It is past time, for school districts to provide psychiatric assistance, or mental health services, to those students who are in need and lack access. At any given time, about one third of a class of students, arrive to school with mental health issues, and act out during the course of the school day in some way. This takes away from meaningful and vital instructional minutes time, and distracts other students from being able to listen and learn.

    Children who refuse to follow directions meant to keep them safe and out of harm's way, need professional help and clearly are not getting it. They will act out, be behavioral problems, and ultimately, not be learning much while at school, so they under perform on academic tests and with their daily school work.

    With all the tragic events, is anyone listening? We must improve access to mental health services to advert potential tragedies.

    With a great sense of heaviness in my heart, do I extend my sincere condolences and prayers to Marcos' family, friends, and classmates. May the message of using common sense and following directions prevent yet another tragic loss that could have been prevented.

    Blessings and Peace,

  11. @Star

    He is partially responsible because he failed to follow prescribed directions, he failed to follow rules that are in place for all who check out school district electronics.
    I could not disagree more! The young man was targeted by adults who have several years of experience and had a car and the element of surprise. We as citizens should never be afraid to use our property in public. It is us the citizens that should stop the criminals from taking what's not there's, We are not to be conditioned to never use our stuff and if we do then we deserve to have it taken. No we need to punish strongly.

  12. Right on, Casinokid. What next Star, women can't leave the house because they will be attacked? Women must wear berkas so any skin showing so excites a man he cannot be expecte4d to control himself?

  13. I don't live in a La La land I live in the land of the FREE and FREEDOM comes with a price. So when those criminals commit crimes they should pay for not living by the rules of society. They are the one's that need to do the paying. So I say to my fellow citizens make THEM PAY.

  14. Was Marcos distracted at the time and not aware of his surroundings? Was he intently focused on whatever was going on with his iPad, and missed the fact there was a vehicle coming near him and he was being watched or stalked, to be attacked? That is where I am coming from.

    From early childhood, common sense and rules are taught to protect from harm or getting into harm's way. Would you prefer ignorance?

    We should be able to occupy our sidewalks and travel to and from a destination without worry, but our world is much different, and it would do us well to be alert to any potential situation that we can be proactive over. Did I say "Live in fear"? No, live your life, and while doing so: be mindful, be proactive.

    One never knows if a "thug" lying in wait to perpetrate a crime against you,or they have a weapon that is lethal, for example. One does not know for certain, the skill level of such a person either (the ability to do physical harm to your person).

    Everyday, in some school yard, or to/from school, or while at their homes, are children who don't follow simple, common sense rules or guidelines, and sure enough, find themselves hurt or injured, when it was preventable. It is sad that they suffer, when it was preventable. Some inflict permanent damage. A child's body strength is no match to a grown adult's in assualt cases.

    As decent adults, we want children to have every advantage possible to avoid personal harm. In school (and hopefully at their homes) they are trained about "Stranger Danger" early years on. They are reminded to take special care crossing streets, or skateboarding, skating, or bicycling. Young people tend to be very preoccupied and get into harm's way for lack of paying attention and using common sense or rules taught to them. They just don't think, sometimes, unless someone is there "reminding" them.

    Most Commenters here are grown adults, and have a greater awareness and maturity level than that of a young person. The adults here have an attention span, and are aware of the dangers out there in the world, and have a perspective about it. Young people have a different mindset.

    Distractions have a proven record of harm. We now have "No distracted driving laws" because drivers refuse to follow the rule of leaving their phones alone when driving. Countless lives have been lost, or those who survived, damaged for life.

    Perhaps Marcos' odds would have improved had he been more keenly aware of his surroundings, being stalked/watched, and the proximity of the killer's vehicle. None of us were there, and we won't know.

    There is no rhyme or reason with a criminal's mind: what they are willing to risk or do, or what they seek to get for themselves. One thing is for sure, those involved with killing Marcos should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and receive the same level of harm as was done to Marcos. Justice would then be served.