PE Teacher Stole Cash From Students' Lockers: Cops

Assistant coach got caught powder-handed

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2014 1:18 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Someone was stealing money from lockers in the boys' locker room at New Smyrna Beach High School in Florida ... and it ended up being probably the last person you'd expect. By April 25, $950 had been stolen from nine students, so school officials used an ultraviolet theft-detection kit to coat $141 in cash with an invisible luminescent powder. Invisible, that is, until it's put under a blacklight. They put the money into a wallet along with a school ID and other items, and put the wallet in a locker ... and when some of the cash went missing Monday, deputies checked the hands of everyone who had access to the locker room to look for the powder.

All of the students were cleared after having their hands checked under the UV light, so deputies checked the coaching staff, and found that assistant varsity football coach and PE teacher Rodney Barnes was allegedly to blame. (Officials went with the sting operation because they couldn't put cameras in the locker room, WFTV explains.) Barnes, 43, admitted to taking $170, but deputies think they can link him to more of the thefts, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He faces charges of grand theft and burglary ... and, not surprisingly, he has resigned from the high school.

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