New Braunfels Police Department officers on Friday detained a 15-year-old student and charged him with stealing an iPad from New Braunfels ISD’s Ninth Grade Center, an NBPD spokesman said Monday.
Capt. John McDonald said the student attends the school and is charged with stealing one of the devices issued to him earlier this year. The boy also might have had help in stealing an iPad issued to another student, McDonald said.
“There may be other arrests that come out of this as the investigation continues,” he said.
On Feb. 25, the boy reported his district-issued iPad stolen at the Ninth Grade Center, 659 S. Guenther. The boy received a replacement iPad, and school personnel began an internal investigation, he said.
“Then the school, through their own investigation, was able to determine that potentially the young man had provided a false statement and it never was stolen,” he said. “Through the investigation it was determined that the young man had actually taken the iPad and sold it at a local video gaming store.”
District personnel called police to the school about 11:35 a.m. Friday for a follow-up investigation, McDonald said. Officers began to investigate.
Police went to the store, recovered the iPad and learned another stolen iPad might have been sold there. Officers talked to the store’s manager, who turned over both devices.
Markings identifying the tablets as the property of New Braunfels ISD were scratched off the backs of the devices.
McDonald said police believe the same boy sold both iPads at the shop, but they aren’t sure whether he stole both. Investigators learned that the boy used someone else’s driver’s license to provide identification necessary to sell the electronic tablets, McDonald said.
Officers detained the boy about 11:35 a.m. Friday at police headquarters then turned him over to his parents, per Comal County Juvenile Probation instructions, McDonald said. He said the boy was charged with theft between $500 and $1,500, tampering with identifying numbers, fraudulent use or possession of identifying information and false report to a police officer.
“Other juveniles who were possibly involved” could be arrested, McDonald said. “We have to see how the investigation plays out.”
NBISD spokeswoman Stephanie Ferguson said the district will deal with the accused boy as the student code of conduct provides from a disciplinary standpoint. Any students found to be involved in the theft also will be punished accordingly.
Ferguson said the district’s anti-theft steps taken to prevent loss of the gadgets or at least their recovery worked.
“The engraving we do helped,” she said. “They scraped it off but that’s where we engrave it. The engraving process certainly helped to track these down.”
She and McDonald said the iPads recovered are unrelated to the case of a few dozen stolen during a burglary in December at the Ninth Grade Center. Police and the district are still trying to recover a portion of those iPads, Ferguson said.
“Not all of those have been recovered,” she said. “From what we understand from the police department this is not related to those thefts.”