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P.E. Teacher Stole $950 From Student Lockers: Police

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WFTV
WFTV

Hey coach! Get down and give me... my money back!

Investigators say physical education teacher Rodney Barnes stole $950 from students in the boy's locker room at New Smyrna Beach High School in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, WFTV reports.

Authorities first began investigating the locker room thefts in April when students reported cash missing from their wallets.

Volusia County deputies were unable to put surveillance cameras in the locker room, so they stashed $141 worth of decoy money, covered with an invisible ultralight powder, in a student's wallet, according to the Associated Press.

Although "Operation Sticky Fingers" was run numerous times in April, Monday was the first time that a student helping with the sting finally noticed missing money. That same day, deputies checked the hands of students and faculty using an ultraviolet light and the powder allegedly showed up on Barnes' hands.

Upon questioning, Barnes admitted to taking a $50 bill from the student’s wallet and admitted to several other thefts totaling $170, cops say

Deputies said Barnes told them he would check lockers for any that were unsecured and go through the wallets, looking for cash. He stated he would never take all of the money, according to MyNews13.com

Barnes told ClickOrlando.com, "I made a mistake." He also said that he wouldn't teach again at the school even if he were allowed because he realizes staff and students have lost respect for him.

Barnes has been accused of mishandling student money in the money in the past.

According to employment records obtained by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Barnes was reprimanded in September, 2012, for collecting $1,200 from students for P.E. uniforms without turning in the money.

Barnes was charged with grand theft and burglary, and released on $3,000 bail on Tuesday. He resigned from his job on Wednesday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Whether Barnes loses his teacher certification is up to the Florida Department of Education, BayNews9.com reports.

(h/t: Newser)

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