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Clay County High School iPad Theft Suspect Arrested, Admits To Crime

Reported by: Send eMail Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Dec. 18, 2013 11:50 AM EST
Updated: Dec. 19, 2013 8:40 AM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

iPad Theft Arrest
Eyewitness News Photo

Clay , Clay County , West Virginia

State Police in Clay County have arrested a suspect who admitted to Eyewitness News cameras that he stole more than two dozen iPads from Clay County High School.

Joseph Jarrett, 23, of Bickmore is charged with two counts of entry of a building other than a dwelling, two counts of receiving and transferring stolen goods, and two counts of conspiracy.

Eyewitness news asked Jarrett id he took the iPads.

"Yup," he said. "I'm sorry I did, and I'm working to get them back to the school."

Jarrett was not afraid to admit what he had done but a little reluctant to say why.

"That I can't tell ya," he said.

State police, however, said he told them he stole the 27 iPads from Clay County High School as a way to buy Christmas presents for his kids.

"I shouldn't have done it. I know better," Jarrett said. "I'm assuming the medicine I'm on that made me do it."

"I don't believe there's any excuse for taking away from children's futures and their opportunities to better themselves," Clay County High School Assistant Principal Mike Mullins said.

At the high school, the students are suffering the loss of nearly $20,000 in equipment that was recently purchased with grant money. Jarrett told State Police he was in the school job shadowing to be a custodian when he and a juvenile, who is not being identified, stole the iPads.

Jarrett said they put them in trash bags so it looked like they were taking out the trash on surveillance cameras.

Superintendent Kenneth Tanner, however, said he had no authority to be in the school.

"He should not have been doing that, if he was doing it, he was doing it on his own," said Tanner.

Investigators said Jarrett sold the iPads for $150 on sites like Facebook Yard Sale or traded them for other items. They said he is trying to get all of the back, so far recovering three, but they need the people who have them now to cooperate too.

"If you keep them, you're just doing a disservice to the kids at the high school, they really need those," Trooper Scott Bass said.

If you believe you have one of the stolen iPads, police are urging you to turn them in. You can bring them to their detachment in Big Otter, or call 304-587-2201.

Jarrett posted his $200,000 bond set by Magistrate Jeff Boggs.




A man who admitted to stealing nearly 30 iPads from a Clay County school has been charged with the crime.

Joseph Michael Jarrett told Eyewitness News on Wednesday that he stole the iPads from Clay County High School. Jarrett said he is sorry and blamed his actions on medications he is taking.

West Virginia State Police said Jarrett had been shadowing someone to be a custodian at the school when he stole the electronics.

His bond was set at $200,000.



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