SIUE police may have a lead on multiple electronic devices stolen from the university last summer.
In early August 2015, approximately 10 touchscreen controls that resemble tablets were stolen from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Engineering Building. Four more were stolen in November.
Police have been monitoring auction sites such as Craigslist and eBay, which garnered a lead recently. An eBay user that appeared to be based in Edwardsville was offering Creston TSW 750 touchscreen monitors, apparently the same type that had been stolen.
SIUE police determined the identity of the eBay user, named “chief_resale” on the auction site and filed for a search warrant. They searched the house of the user, who was not identified by police, and did not recover any of the stolen equipment. However, Chief Kevin Schmoll said they seized a computer from the suspect and the investigation is ongoing.
“We’re still waiting on subpoenaed information from eBay,” Schmoll said. “It’ll be about 30 to 60 days before we receive that information.” At that time, Schmoll said, he expects to have a case to present to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office to request charges.
While eBay user “chief_resale” is no longer a registered user on the online auction site, his ratings remain. In the last six months, he sold at least 30 items that received positive marks from his buyers and four negative. He has been listed as a member since June 2015.
One such buyer complained that “chief_resale” canceled the order at the last minute for a Crestron TSW 750-B-S 7 touchscreen computer, which he was offering for $450 or best offer. “Our project is delayed,” the buyer wrote. The item itself can no longer be viewed on eBay.
Items “chief_resale” sold included Apple remote controls; rechargeable toothbrushes; battery packs for cell phones; Apple laptops and iPhones; LEGO toys; a graphing calculator and a Polaroid camera.
Many electronic devices are sold on in-person sites such as Craigslist or certain Facebook groups that offer items for sale between individuals. There is even one such Facebook group for people associated with SIUE, buying and selling items ranging from electronics to clothes to housewares.
The black Creston touchscreen controls and their mount kits were valued at about $1,200 each and have SIUE inventory labels with unique tracking numbers, as well as individual manufacturer serial numbers. Commonly used for high-tech home theaters or automated classrooms, the devices resemble a tablet computer, but do not have wireless capability.
Schmoll said if anyone recently bought one of these items from eBay, Craigslist or similar devices, they should contact SIUE Police Detective Brad Hershberger at 618-650-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.