EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI) – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police believe they have the person responsible for stealing thousands of dollars worth of valuable electronics from university classrooms. The problem is they could be in the hands of some innocent eBay buyers.
Months after a number of pricey tablets were stolen from the engineering department at SIUE some creative sleuthing by the campus police lead them to the thief.
In early August about 10 touchscreen tablets were taken from the engineering building. Another four were stolen in November. They were Creston Touchscreen controls; model ID TWS-750 and their tabletop mount kits.
Shortly after the first theft police began closely watching selling sites like eBay and Craig’s List. Their hard work paid off and they found and Edwardsville based ebay member who was selling the exact same brand and model of tablet stolen from school.
The tablets retail for $1200 and are used in high tech home theater systems or automated classrooms.
"They are not wi-fi capable so they have to be hard wired to a larger monitor like a TV screen, so you can load stuff on them but they are mostly used in these smart classrooms," said SIUE Chief of Police Kevin Schmoll.
Campus police have interviewed the eBay seller, who goes by the user name chief resale. They also searched the suspect's home. But a name will not be released until the suspect is formally charged. Police are still waiting on subpoenaed information from eBay before they can do that. That could take 30 to 60 days. Police did tell Fox 2 he is not a student or school employee.
Campus police are appealing to anyone who may have purchased one of these Creston Touchscren controls and their tabletop mount kits to contact SIU-E police.