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Teacher, others arrested in Paterson school laptop thefts

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A teacher and a maintenance worker were among those arrested in the thefts of 28 laptops from Paterson schools, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

“In cooperation with the Paterson City Board if Education, we have investigated the theft of and recovered computer equipment belonging to the school system,” Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.

THE FULL STORY:
A teacher and a maintenance worker are among 10 people charged in connection with the thefts of 28 laptops from Paterson schools — 20 of which have been recovered.

And there may be more arrests, and recoveries, to come, Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said earlier today.

“We have also identified businesses and people who deal in stolen property,” the sheriff told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon, before a news conference to announce the case.

They’ve also solved some residential burglaries, he said. ABOVE: Some of the recovered laptops ( CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo ).

“In addition to the physical protection of children, protecting resources so the children of our county receive a quality education is also important,” Berdnik said.

He also raised an important distinction that he said was pointed out by one of the investigators who cracked the case:

“All of the members of the Internet Crime Unit are parents and take the theft of school property seriously,” Berdnik said. “Crimes such as these affect students’ quality of life, their education and the experience of [being] children.”

Since his squad began working with the city Board of Ed on “Operation School Computer Recovery,” the sheriff said, they have produced 17 cases involving property theft.

The results so far include the 10 arrests and 20 recoveries — with more to come, he said.

Those participating include:

• From the Paterson School District: Schools Supt. Donnie Evans; Technology Director Ralph Barca; Executive Director of District Security James Smith and Investigator Donald Giaquinto;

• From the PCSD: Detective Sgt. George Rosenthal and Detectives Robert Torres and Lizette Colon;

• From Absolute Security: Martin Davin

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