Fla. teacher in stolen property charges

Feb. 24, 2011 at 1:17 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Florida music teacher who admitted to a gambling problem has been arrested on charges of pawning instruments belonging to a high school, officials said.

James Morris, 26, who resigned from University High School in Orange City on Feb. 10, is charged with 14 felony counts of dealing in stolen property, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Police began investigating after six students at the Volusia County school reported their guitars stolen. Two guitars, two violins, a digital camera, a video camera and a laptop computer belonging to the school also went missing, investigators said.

Police say they traced 14 pawn transactions to Morris that netted him $825 between October and January. The laptop had been pawned twice, they said.

Morris confessed Feb. 10 to school administrators he has a gambling problem and had pawned the laptop he checked out and some musical instruments, police said.

Morris was arrested at his home in DeLand, Fla., and is being held on $21,000 bail, the Sentinel reported.

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