Student Accused of Selling College Lab Equipment on eBay
FORT COLLINS, Colo.
P olice at Colorado State University have traced the theft of $7,000 in equipment from the engineering department to a student who allegedly put the items up for bid on the Internet.
The student allegedly took six electronic testing devices from a lab during the spring semester and sold them on eBay, an Internet auction site, CSU police Detective Chris Wolf says.
Police have not released the name of the 19-year-old suspect. The case was filed last week with the district attorney’s office, Wolf says.
The suspect could be disciplined by the university and charged, Wolf says.
A California-based equipment reseller, Test Equipment Solutions Today, had called the school after it bought two pieces of equipment in May, says Brandi Serrao, a purchasing agent.
Serrao says the company tried to reach the seller through his CSU e-mail account when it couldn’t find serial numbers on the equipment. The seller did not respond, Serrao says.
“Because of his e-mail address, I thought he was an instructor at the school. But when I contacted the engineering department, they told me he was not an instructor, he was a student,” Serrao says. “I told them we had bought some of this stuff.”
Kevin Pursglovy, an eBay spokesman, says Fort Collins police contacted eBay to confirm the equipment had been posted on the site. He says some of the items had been sold but did not know if they all had.
Police say the suspect sold similar items to buyers in Ohio, Indiana, Kansas and Missouri. Some items have not been retrieved.
“All the purchasers were located in other states, and that has made it somewhat difficult,” Wolf says, adding that the purchasers did not commit any crimes.
“They purchased the items in good faith,” he says. “If it were a situation where they were buying it out of the back seat of someone’s van, that would be different.”
Students have stolen university equipment before, but it was unusual for it to be sold electronically, Wolf says.
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