Lockers Going Empty
A small town in Louisiana had a theft spree case that continued over a couple of months. Lockers became void of students’ laptops, calculators, and personal possessions, but the principal seemed to be turning a blind eye.
However, one student was fed up and wanted to know the identity behind the culprit. But it was someone they would never have expected.
A Student Solved The Mystery
This story was shared on Reddit by the user u/Dunnachius, to whom we shall refer as Jake from now on. Jake was in 10th grade when this crime wave took place.
And he was a collaborator in the plot that would bring the thief to the public eye and make him face the consequences of his actions.
It Seemed Like No Big Deal
At first, it seemed like just a few anecdotic incidents with no relation between them. Every now and then, something disappeared from one of the students’ lockers.
The official theory, and the one endorsed by the principal, was that this was the students’ fault. How? Well, this is the explanation that was given:
The principal claimed that it was all due to the students sharing the lockers’ combinations with one another or having combinations that were too simple or easy to guess.
So when the theft spree started happening, it was all put on the students, that is, the victims themselves! And that wasn’t all. What the school did about it was even more outrageous.
What Was It?
Every student that had their locker stolen was charged $150 to change the combination, as the school needed to hire a locksmith to change the lock.
So the students lost not only what had been stolen from their lockers, but also $150 that they had to pay to the school! It was a disgrace. But the worst thing was that the thefts didn’t stop.
It Kept Going
As time went on, more and more students kept having stuff stolen from their lockers. It didn’t matter how many times they changed the lock or how intricate their combination was; nothing seemed to stop the mysterious thief.
Even Jake had something extremely valuable stolen from his locker: a graphic calculator worth a few hundred dollars. And when it happened, he decided that enough was enough.
Detective Steps In
His uncle had a friend who worked as a detective for the county. He talked to him about what was going on at his school and, after giving it a think, the detective agreed to investigate it.
So one day, the detective went to the school, asked to see the principal, and made him an offer.
He suggested setting up cameras in the hall, next to the lockers, so the thief could be discovered. But the principal opposed the idea: the detective would need a warrant to do that, and it would take months to get one.
However, the detective had another trick up his sleeve. So one day, he went to visit Jake and suggested that he be a part of his plan.
He gave Jake a brand new laptop and asked him to put it in his locker. He didn’t explain what he was scheming, but he asked something else of him: he should tell everyone he knew about his new laptop.
Although he was a bit confused, Jake agreed. And a few days later, his laptop was gone. He told the detective about it. “Stand by for the show, oh, and you reported the theft to the police, FYI,” he replied. Everything was going according to his plan.
It Had A Tracker
It was later revealed that the detective had placed a GPS tracker inside the laptop; unknowingly, the thief had guided him to his own house.
And when it was made public who had been stealing from the students’ lockers, no one could believe that it had been him all along. It was someone who they would never expect to do anything like that.
It Was A Teacher
It was the History teacher! It’s common knowledge that America’s school teachers are paid less than they should. But still, it was surprising to everyone to see one of the most reputed members of the school staff do something like that.
The truth had come out, and it was time for consequences to happen. And as it will be seen later, this included more people than just the History teacher.
Numerous objects that were the property of the school students were found in the History teacher’s house, ranging from pieces of electronic equipment to money or jewelry.
When the police racked up the total of what had been stolen to build a case against the teacher, the result was absolutely astonishing.
The misleadingly mild-mannered and affable teacher was facing 9 felonies and 35 misdemeanor charges; the value of what had been stolen was about $12,000 for the felonies and $3,000 for the misdemeanors.
But that wasn’t all. More people were involved in this incident, and they would have to face the consequences too.
A Lawsuit Brewing
With the dust barely settling. There was still a lot to go through. There was a storm on the horizon in the form of a lawsuit. Things like this can be a school’s worst nightmare, but they knew it was too late to make reparations.
The school knew that there would be consequences for what had happened. They just didn’t expect the students’ anger to be focused on them.
Students Sued The School
The students filed a lawsuit against the school for forcing them to change the lockers and charging them for it. They won the suit, and the principal resigned, ashamed of what had happened.
The Sun Newspaper
As for the History teacher, he still had to go to trial. Would he end up in jail for his actions, or would he avoid prison by telling on other people that were involved in the theft wave?
He Didn’t Act Alone
It was clear that the teacher didn’t act alone. He couldn’t have known what the locker combinations were on their own. This brought the hammer down on the school. They were forced to launch an investigation to save face.
Now that nearly every parents was breathing down the principal’s neck, they knew things had gone from bad to worse.
Looking For Leads
The school was now forced to look into the matter themselves. They were desperate to find any clues that could tell them more about the incident. Luckily, the school had security cameras as part of their contract with their school district.
They never thought they’d have to actually use them. But when the principal asked for the footage, he couldn’t believe what happened next.
After going through hoops, the principal finally got their hands on the bulk footage from the last year. He started looking through each file which was a time-consuming process. But soon, he noticed an irregularity that shouldn’t have been there.
There were gaps in days in the file. Part of the footage was missing. He knew this couldn’t have been chalked up to corrupted files. This ran deeper than he ever thought possible.
A Dead End
Since the footage was deleted, the principal couldn’t do much. This did prove that it ran deeper than he thought. But it also meant he had no evidence of any kind. This meant he had run into a dead end.
The only culprit they had was the history teacher. But things sat uneasy with him. What if more of the faculty were in on it? Or god forbid the students?
If someone else was collaborating with the History teacher, he wasn’t snitched on. The teacher ended up serving 6 years in jail and was sentenced as the sole culprit of the incidents.
With nothing else as evidence, the school couldn’t do much more. This meant that they were ripe pickings for the parents’ criticisms.
A School Meeting
To try and clear the air, the principal decided to host a meeting where all of the faculty and parents could voice their concerns about the incident. He hoped that he’d be able to quell their anger and reassure them.
This backfired spectacularly as parents left and right were giving uncensored criticism that reflected poorly on the school.
After explaining their finding to the parents, the principal hoped they would understand. But they had a lot of concerns that brought everything to a standstill. Their words were like venom.
As most parents will understand, no one takes advantage of their children without hearing from them.
When it came time for the floor to be open to the parents, they didn’t hesitate. One concerned woman shouted loudly, “What kind of school is this? I’ve heard of fellow students sometimes committing petty theft but the faculty being the culprit is unacceptable.”
Parents bobbed their heads in agreement. The principal just wanted to reconcile with the parents. But it would be harder than he thought.
“How To Prevent This Happening Again?”
Another parent had a very valid point, “It’s all good and well apologizing, but how did they get the combination? How can you guarantee that this won’t happen again?” This caught the principal off guard.
He didn’t need anyone undermining the school in front of the other parents. It could easily start an uproar if he wasn’t careful.
The principal tried to dissipate the tension in the room by assuring the parents that they had taken precautionary measures. They made the students change their lock combination, and they even hired a security guard as part of the faculty.
With all of these new precautions in place, would it be enough? The principal was about to find out.
“What about all of the stolen items? Will our children get them back?” One parent blurted out. The principal hoped no one would mention this. The school was working on a plan, but it was a major headache to figure out which property belonged to who.
It would be a long and complicated process, but he assured them it would work out eventually. He just hoped that it would satisfy the parents that were out for blood.
All Eyes On Them
The meeting finally came to an uneasy finish. The principal just hoped that it would be enough. He knew that all eyes would be on the institution now. They just had to make sure not to mess up again.
With the teacher fired and facing jail time, they just hoped that no more mishaps would happen in the future.
Trying To Make A Brighter Future
The principal wanted to make a brighter future for their students and had to try and make sure the past stayed in the past. But despite his best efforts, he saw scathing reviews of the school from unsatisfied parents.
The teacher had brought nothing but trouble to the school. At least the principal could take one thing away from all of this.
A Valuable Lesson
Even if it hurt to see all of the criticism, he could at least chalk it up as a valuable lesson. He’d create a new policy to make sure every teacher had a background check run on them. Hopefully, that would end this once and for all.
But would his school be able to come back from the brink? It felt like everything was going downhill.
In the following months, the school slowly started turning around. New reviews were trickling in with good things to say now that the nasty business was behind them. It just shows that hard work and dedication can save anything.
The principal never found out who was responsible for helping the history teacher steal from the students. But it never happened again. Who do you think the real culprit was? In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.