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The Scarlet & Black

Computer thief arrested after eBay probe

According to a Grinnell Police Department media release, on April 21, officers from the Grinnell Police Department arrested a Grinnell College student for Theft in the First Degree. Two search warrants were issued, and officers found stolen electronics in the student’s dormitory room.

The arrest is the result of an investigation relating to the disappearance of 13 College-owned computers and other electronics equipment worth approximately $20,000.

On April 20, Grinnell College Safety and Security reported an item’s appearance on the online auction website eBay to the Grinnell College Police Department. Grinnell College Security Officer Patrick Ritter had been scanning the website for the stolen equipment.
Grinnell College Police Department Chief Jody Matherly then inquired information from the eBay website.

“At that point, we contacted eBay security and worked with them to find out who had posted the item and got that information,” said Chief Matherly in a phone interview with the S&B. “And, it led us back to the College campus, and so we executed search warrants and we were able to recover several stolen items.”

After Grinnell Police Department Officers Stuart Fricke and Joe Meyer retrieved the stolen items from the student’s room, it was found that some of the equipment had already been sold on eBay.

The arrested student is currently housed in Poweshiek County Jail, in Montezuma. Accused of Class C Felony Theft in the First Degree, the student may face up to ten years in prison and a fine from at least $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000.

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