A 17-year-old Wauwatosa West High School student accused of stealing a another student's backpack containing a school-owned iPad and textbooks has been criminally charged.
Jeffery T. Robinson was charged Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of theft. If convicted, he could face up to nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines.
According to police reports and the criminal court complaint:
On Nov. 12, a student reported to the school office that his backpack had disappeared after he left it unattended near an exit during the last hour of classes.
School officials reviewed security video and saw three students, including Robinson, gather around the backpack, which had wheels and a pullout handle. Robinson was seen pulling the backpack out the door.
When questioned, he admitted taking it outside but said he had not gone through it, but let friends of his do so. He said one of them had taken the iPad. He told them he had left the backpack just outside the building, but neither it nor any of its contents were recovered.
Acccording to the school administration, Robinson was given time to try to recover the iPad and several expensive textbooks before they would settle on any disciplinary action.
When after several weeks Robinson was unable to produce any of the property – he acknowledged that the iPad had been sold and couldn't be recovered – the police were brought in.
Robinson was arrested Dec. 4, and this time he admitted he had rifled the backpack, taken the iPad and given it to a friend to sell. He still said he had left the books and backpack itself and that someone else must have taken them, and he couldn't say who.
Police interviewed one of the students seen with Robinson in the video footage, who said he had told Robinson there were cameras in the school and warned him, “They are gonna have you on tape,” but he took it anyway.