Crime

Alabama Teacher Charged After Allegedly Stealing 11 iPads From Her School

| by Alexander Rubinstein

A teacher from Birmingham, Alabama, was arrested on Aug. 27 after she was accused of stealing 11 iPads and a large-screen TV from Jones Valley Middle School.

Tabatha Laquese Lawson, 49, was charged with first-degree theft, reported WIAT. She has been released on bail from Jefferson County Jail.

Police received a burglary report from the school on Aug. 22. Investigators determined the burglary report was made in an effort to cover up the theft, said Lt. Scott Thurmond.

Some of the electronics were discovered at several area pawn shops, Thurmond said.

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The investigation is ongoing. Thurmond said there may be more arrests to come, reported AL.com.

According to Eversole Law Firm of Birmingham, the penalty for a theft crime depends partly on whether there is more than one alleged perpetrator, as well as the value of the stolen goods.

A theft crime in Alabama is defined as being in the first degree if the value of the property involved is more than $2,500. First-degree theft of property is defined by the state as a class B felony.

A conviction on a class B felony is Alabama state law can result in imprisonment ranging from a minimum of two years to a maximum of 20 years. As well as a prison sentence, class B felons may be fined up to $30,000, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer.

In 1997, Lawson was convicted on 10 charges of writing fake checks, reports AL.com. Court records do not indicate any other criminal convictions.

A list of teachers on the Jones Valley Middle School website does not include Lawson, and only 14 names are listed under the directory. 

According to the Internet Archive Way Back Machine, Lawson was not listed under the teachers section when the page was archived on April 5, 2015, months before her arrest.

Sources: WIAT, AL.com, Eversole Law Firm, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Jones Valley Middle School, Internet Archive / Photo credit: Birmingham Police Department