Crime

Escalon school district employee suspected of stealing equipment from schools

Thomas O’Hare, 31
Thomas O’Hare, 31

For months, thousands of dollars in electronics and other equipments periodically disappeared from the Escalon School District, but there was never any sign of forced entry.

Escalon police linked the thefts to the district’s technology coordinator on Tuesday, when he was caught on surveillance video using a co-worker’s debit card at an ATM, said Detective Anthony Hardgraves.

Officer Steven Quilici got surveillance video from the ATM and the Escalon High School employee identified the man using her debit card as 31-year-old Thomas Ohare.

Hardgraves said there were eight incidents of theft since December but the distinct first reported missing items in May when thousands of dollars in band equipment was stolen. Hardgraves estimates close to $8,000 in items were taken in all, including digital cameras, iPads, computers and laptops.

Hardgraves obtained a search warrant for Ohare’s home Tuesday. He found some of those stolen items, including a camera, a set of custodian keys, a computer and two laptops, one that had not yet been inventoried and another Ohare was supposed to be repairing.

Not all stolen items were found in Ohare’s home but Hardgraves said he is believed to be responsible for all of the thefts.

Ohare was booked into the San Joaquin County jail on suspicion of theft, identity theft and unauthorized us of an access card.

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