Local News

Police Search for Suspect in School Paycheck Thefts

Posted January 29, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Several Wake County teachers are getting a tough lesson in criminal activity. Police say two people have gone into five Wake County schools, stealing teachers' paychecks.

The suspects targeted their first school, Green Elementary, last October, investigators say.

The men claimed they were custodial workers to gain access to an empty classroom, says Corey Duber with Wake County School Security.

"The stories were very convincing," Duber says. "We have custodial workers and parents who want to look at our schools, and we want people to be able to look at our schools.

In the classroom, the men allegedly took checks from a teacher's purse. The scheme worked so well, they allegedly tried it again at Lynn Road and Millbrook elementary schools, and only last week, they allegedly hit Joyner and Underwood elementaries.

So far, investigators say the men have cashed more than $10,000 in checks.

Police are searching for Robert McGert. His alleged accomplice is already in custody. McGert is also wanted in Durham and Burlington for theft charges.

Parents are alarmed about how easily the suspects got into the school, but security officials say they only stole from empty classrooms.

"Everyone is on a heightened alert, but this won't be the only incidence of someone trying to prey on a school," Duber says.

Officials say children were never in danger.