Suspect admits to stealing dozens of iPads - Clay County, WV - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Suspect admits to stealing dozens of iPads from Clay County High School

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Joseph Jarrett admitted to stealing 27 iPads. Joseph Jarrett admitted to stealing 27 iPads.
CLAY COUNTY, West Virginia -

A man was arrested and charged Wednesday after admitting to troopers and to 13 News that he stole dozens of  iPads from a high school in our region.

Joseph Jarrett admitted to taking 27 iPads from Clay County High School during the first two weeks of December.  "I take full responsibility and I am taking full responsibility trying to get them all back to Clay County High School," Jarrett said. 

We caught up with Jarrett at the Clay County detachment of the West Virginia State Police after he was formally charged with the crimes.  He said he took the devices after shadowing for a fill-in janitor position at the school.

Clay County Schools Superintendent Kenneth Tanner said Jarrett was never authorized to be in the school to begin with.    

Jarrett said his new medication is to blame for his actions.  "Ever since I started taking that medication I just haven't been feeling correctly," he said.  "I just haven't had time to go back to the doctor and get it looked at, which I should have done."

The iPads total nearly $20,000.  They were purchased with a grant. 

Jarrett said, "I take full responsibility for what I did.  I just would like to figure out why I did it.  That's why I'm saying that."  He said he sold the iPads on Facebook for $150 each or traded them for various items. 

When it comes down to it, Tanner said the real victims here are the students who have become accustomed to the technology.  He said, "They like to learn with them, they are eager to learn with them, and they can do so much more with them."

In the meantime, Jarrett had a message for anyone he sold an iPad to in the last few weeks.  "I'm willing to buy them back off of them," he said.  "Whether they'll meet me or bring them to Officer [Trooper] Bass or any State Police, they'll all end up back at the high school eventually."

Jarrett's mother told us she paid $20,000 dollars in cash to make sure he didn't go to jail Wednesday.  When we asked why, she said she wanted him home for Christmas.

Jarrett's charges include two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of recovering or transferring stolen property, and two counts of entering a dwelling without breaking in. 

So far, three of the iPads have been located by troopers.  If you purchased an iPad from Joseph Jarrett, you're asked to contact your local detachment of the West Virginia State Police. 

Troopers say another person will likely face charges in connection with the crimes, but that he is a minor and his name will not be released.