Students at St. Ignatius College Preparatory took advantage of that in a Facebook tribute, the San Francisco Chronicle reported: "If you're going to steal iPads from S.I., you're going to get ruffed up."
Police said that after Ruff pulled Gabriel Ruiz Vega, 27, off a fence they found seven iPads, all originally issued by St. Ignatius to students, and a student's wallet in his backpack. Ruiz Vega now faces charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and violating the terms of his probation after a previous theft conviction.
Bill Gotch, the dean of students, said he was on the alert after a series of iPad thefts and became suspicious when he saw a young man hanging around. He questioned the man, who claimed to be a student and looked the part with his backpack and copy of "Lord of the Flies."
But Gotch said the man could not explain why he was on St. Ignatius property and would not say where he went to school. He started running when Gotch said he would call the police.
Ruff took off after him and got him at the fence, the Chronicle said The principal said he "just happened to be the runner" in a group effort, but students admired his action.
"At first when I saw it on Facebook, I thought it was a joke," Lizzie McCaffrey, a freshman, said. "I think it's pretty cool Mr. Ruff would stand up for his students like that and save the day, almost."