NORTH FORSYTH — A college student interning at a Forsyth County elementary school was arrested after she reportedly stole an iPad from a 6-year-old student and sold it online in an effort to get Christmas shopping money, authorities said.
Instead of keeping the $200 she received for selling the device for through her boyfriend’s Facebook account, 21-year-old Kelsey Rose Salie of Flowery Branch returned the money, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
She was released from the Forsyth County Detention Center on Dec. 4 after posting a $1,150 bond.
Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, confirmed the misdemeanor theft arrest and bond amount, but referred additional comment to school personnel.
According to a sheriff’s report, Salie told deputies she took the iPad from the child’s backpack on Nov. 19 after students went to another class at Chestatee Elementary School.
According to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for Forsyth County Schools, the “unfortunate situation” is the “first incident that we have had” with University of North Georgia interns.
Caracciolo declined to say anything further on the matter, deferring instead to the college, where Salie is enrolled and through which the unpaid internship was arranged.
“The situation will be referred to a student conduct process … which will go on concurrently with any investigation with local authorities,” said Kate Maine, director of university relations for UNG.
Until that process is resolved, Salie, a junior, will not face disciplinary action from the college, although classes and the internship have ended for the semester.
Maine said UNG does not issue interim suspensions unless there is a threat to campus safety. The process should begin “in the next few days.
From the college’s standpoint, Saile faces charges of violating the professional and UNG student codes of conduct, as well as off-campus laws, and theft.
“Those are pretty serious,” said Maine, adding that the charges could warrant suspension should the dean of students find her guilty of those violations.
According to Maine, possible sanctions could range from an oral reprimand to expulsion.
“This is what we believe to be a truly isolated incident,” she said. “We have a very good relationship with our local school systems, and we hope to continue that relationship. We are disappointed in this particular situation.”
Authorities were alerted to the theft by the child’s parents, who had been contacted by a Hall County woman who bought the iPad off Facebook.
The buyer had noticed the parents’ contact information appeared when she activated the device, according to the sheriff’s report.
The woman said she bought the iPad for her father, who was the one who had met with Salie to complete the sale.
The report went on to note that Salie’s boyfriend returned the $200 after learning the iPad was stolen.
Salie was identified in her boyfriend’s Facebook photos by the student. Chestatee’s principal confirmed in the report that Salie had finished her internship Nov. 21.
When the iPad was returned to the parents, the case was missing. Salie later stated she had thrown it in a trash can at Chestatee, according to the report.
She told investigators that she took and sold the device in an effort to make some money to buy her family Christmas presents. She used her boyfriend’s Facebook account “because he has more friends.”