Monday, Sept. 19, 2016
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Investigators have arrested a man after he passed himself off as a school official and stole property from Evans High School.
According to investigators, 43-year-old Franklin Beckles reportedly entered the school through a back entrance and went to the kitchen to ask for some food.
According to the incident report, the nutrition manager told school administration that Beckles identified himself as a substitute teacher. She felt uneasy about him and reported the incident to the school's administration.
After administrators reviewed video surveillance, they told investigators that they determined Beckles was not a member of the school and he was wearing one of 12 missing basketball jerseys.
Officers investigating the scene were able to convince Beckles to meet them in the church parking lot adjacent to the school.
Beckles told investigators that he went to the school because he thought it was open to the public, and did not think he did anything wrong. He claimed he was being harassed and will file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also told investigators that he did not steal the jersey, and that it was given to him.
The incident report states Beckles agreed to return the jersey, and it was discovered that Beckles had 3 other jerseys belonging to the school.
Investigators returned the jerseys to the school and arrested Beckles under the charges of theft by receiving and theft by deception.
Additional video footage later obtained by investigators showed Beckles entering the school through an unlocked door on September 11, 2016 around 11:45 a.m. He exited the building with a large bag.
Investigators obtained a search warrant to search his home, where a total of 8 basketball jerseys, 2 band jackets and 2 practice jerseys were recovered.
Beckles has been warned to stay off Columbia County School property.