Crime

Man allegedly stole more than $900 from his former workplace

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A State College man is facing several charges after allegedly stealing money from a former workplace.

Ferguson Township police responded on Dec. 14 to Park Forest Apartments off West Aaron Drive. The office manager told police someone had entered a desk and took $920 in cash from a glass jar. The office manager did not suspect any co-workers and said it likely occurred when the office was closed.

A covert camera, which recorded automatically based on motion sensor, was installed on Jan. 5 in the office to monitor similar activity to the incident. The camera recorded a white man at about 2:20 a.m. Jan. 6 in the office looking through the desk and observing items on it and around the room.

The man was wearing a light colored hood over his head and latex gloves, according to the affidavit. Staff identified him as Benjamin John Rupert, 29, to police on Monday and said he was a former employee.

Police approached Rupert later Monday, and he admitted to being the man in the office after he was presented with still photographs, according to the affidavit. Rupert told police he learned how to pick locks from watching a YouTube video and that he wanted to “mess with” things in the office because he was upset with a former co-worker.

Rupert initially told police he took two lollipops from the office, but nothing else, according to the affidavit. He later contacted police and admitted to taking about $900 in cash, but said he returned to the office to put the money back where he found it. The affidavit does not say if Rupert returned any money.

Rupert was charged with two felony counts of burglary, two felony counts of criminal trespass by breaking into a structure, misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking and misdemeanor receiving stolen property.

Rupert was released from custody on $25,000 unsecured bail set by District Judge Carmine Prestia.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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