October 27, 2023 at 12:44 pm

‘His mom received 18 years of jail.’ They Got Revenge On A Locker Thief And His Mom Who Worked At The High School, And Ended Up With A Class Action Lawsuit Against The School District

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@thomascpark

I remember my school days when locker thieves roamed the halls breaking in and stealing things from unsuspecting students.

This was my biggest fear in high school besides forgetting my locker combination…I still have nightmares about that one.

But on to the story!

A person shared a story on Reddit’s “Pro Revenge” page and talked about how they dealt with a locker thief in high school.

This happened a while back and the person’s school was dealing with a rash of locker thefts.

Dealing with the locker thief in high school.

“This was back in the early 2000s, probably 2003-2004 school year.

Throughout the entire year there was a “crime wave” of people having things stolen out of their locked lockers. Not everyone but enough that everyone KNEW someone it happened to. The schools only defense about this was that it was our fault for sharing locker combos with our friends.

They also charged US every time we had to get the combination changed on a locker (like after a theft for instance) because it was assumed to be our fault.

And then they finally fell victim to the crime wave and their loss wasn’t cheap.

Well I had my graphing calculator taken out of my locker. I also never gave out my combination to anyone. Mostly because my friends were idiots and we pulled **** on each other all the time.

So I was out $150 for the calculator and another $150 to change the combination (getting a lock smith to change out the lock). This is 2003 money so it’s a bit more than now.

To anyone who has ever had to buy a TI-86 in 2003 or 2004 you’ll know how much the things cost.

But they had a trick up their sleeve and had some good connections that could help them deal with this.

Well my dad was drinking buddies with one of the county detectives. I’ll call him Detective Buddy and or Uncle Buddy. He went in to talk to the school about these string of thefts going on so he could get the security camera for the day my calculator went missing and got completely brushed off as it was a “non existent problem” and “he must have given out his locker combination”.

The principal told him he would need a warrant to get the camera footage, then when he got the warrant the school fought the warrant in court citing student privacy.

Queue the pro revenge, Detective Buddy shows up at our house with a laptop in a laptop bag. He’s like “throw this in your locker and tell everyone you know about your brand new laptop”.

“OK.. sure Uncle Buddy”

The trap was set and Uncle Buddy was right.

3 days later I show up at my locker between classes and the laptop is gone, the bag to, nowhere to be seen, as is a 24 ounce bottle of coke, and possibly some pens. I take my phone out and text him that the laptop got taken.

“Stand by for the **** show, oh and you reported the theft to the police FYI” he replies back.

“OK” I reply confused. I got about the rest of my day and I don’t hear anything back. The following morning Detective Buddy comes to the school with 3 uniformed officers and pull a student (Dave) out of class as well as his mom who works in the front office.

The principal is mad, I don’t actually hear the cops but the principal is mad to no end that he had the audacity to accuse them of theft and he couldn’t just take them out of his school, etc.

But there was a twist that no one saw coming.

Well turns out there was a tracker in the laptop bag and Uncle Buddy got a warrant to search a particular house, the laptop had a value of over $1,000 making it a felony. The next afternoon he set up a tent with a table just outside of school grounds. He also had a banner across the top “if you have had something stolen from your locker see me”.

By the next morning Dave and his mom made the paper, apparently Dave allegedly used his mom’s log in information to get onto the school network and get the locker combinations for basically everyone, then he just opened random lockers looking for valuables to steal, if he didn’t get info of a specific locker to steal from.

And the charges added up for this kid who was now in way over his head.

When he set up the stand to get more people reporting thefts he racked up an astounding number of charges. Each locker counted as a separate misdemeanor unless the stolen object was worth more than $1,000 in which case it was a felony.

In less than a week Uncle buddy opened and broke an investigation and they charged Dave and his mom with 9 felonies and 35 misdemeanor charges. When I finally got the story from Buddy he explained what the situation was.

He had me stash a brand new laptop that had a GPS tracking unit stuck in it in my locker than get it stolen deliberately and then he got a warrant to search the property it had been taken to. Now the fun thing to stress is that the laptop was over $1,000 value.. pushing the theft from a misdemeanor into felony level.

There was also another 8 felony charges, stuff like jewelry that was stolen from other people’s locker and recovered. So any of the locker break ins that amounted to over $1,000 stolen was a felony charge and less than $1,000 was a misdemeanor charge.

This kid was in hot water and this small town wasn’t going to let him off the hook easily.

Cool thing was that because the calculator and the laptop were separate days (and the combination changed between the days) he caught a felony and a misdemeanor charge off me alone.

The 9 felony thefts ended up in the $12,000 range total, and the 35 misdemeanor charges were somewhere in the range of $3,000 total in value.

Now that’s an awful lot of stuff stolen, but I need to stress that this is only what was PROVEN stolen. Like this is what they caught him with in his possession that they could trace back to someone.

They also didn’t let them plead to anything, it was Podunkville’s highest profile crime in years and without a doubt one of the worst crime sprees the county had seen in decades.

And then it was time for the revenge part of the story.

Next up on the revenge… Everyone who had been charged $150 get their locker combinations changed sued the school district in a class action lawsuit. The justification was that the school did nothing to investigate the 44 (proven) and more than likely 200+ cases of locker theft and then charged money to get the locker combinations changed.

There was 218 people in the “class” and in total everyone got $85 after attorney’s fees. The principal also lost his job for being a bonehead and not bothering to attempt to deal with the massive problem that was reported to him going on at the school.

The fun thing I need to point out is that the school brought in a lock smith to change out the locks, that’s why the justified charging $150. Well the school already paid the $150 a locker, but they also had to return $100 per locker… meaning that they were out $21,800 plus their legal fees for that class action suit.

But the story wasn’t over. The kid who went on the crime spree needed to face justice in a courtroom.

Next comes the criminal trial and the fallout. The prosecutor’s “Deal” was 10 years in prison (5 in juvie and 5 in adult prison) for Dave and 15 for Dave’s mom.

Well they refused that deal and it went to trial. Dave got 1 year prison for each felony (the state minimum) and 1 month probation for each misdemeanor.

So 9 years plus 35 months of probation. His mom received 18 years of jail and 6 years probation.

Having attended much of the best parts of the trial I will say this.

They had Dave on camera entering 20+ lockers and they had them in possession of stolen goods for every single charge they made against them. The judge was also not amused that there was likely other reported crimes that they “got away with” because they couldn’t prove it or they weren’t reported.

And he wasn’t the only person who got the book thrown at them.

Dave’s mom got it worse… that was a fun sentencing to show up for.

But the most important thing is that I got my graphing calculator back. It had my name engraved inside the battery compartment. I still have it as well as a cool story to tell.”

Here’s what people had to say.

One person isn’t exactly buying this story…

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual agreed and thinks this story might be made up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another Reddit user made a good point about graphing calculators.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this person bought it and thought that justice was served!

Source: Reddit/AITA

Did it happen? Didn’t it? It seems like folks were pretty split on this one.

Either way… pro revenge!