A custodian at Fairfield Central High School was arrested Monday as Student Resource Officers (SROs) concluded an investigation into numerous reports of money missing from classrooms.
According to the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Offices, investigators charged 38-year-old Andre Ross Jones of Calhoun Street in Winnsboro with larceny after video surveillance showed Jones taking the bait in a trap set by the SROs. The trap was set after officers received reports of $160 missing from a classroom on April 13. According to the incident report, video showed Jones entering and leaving the classroom in question during the times when the money disappeared.
Officers then devised a plan to catch the suspect in the act.
In the early morning hours Monday, officers arrived at Fairfield Central High School and placed four $20 bills in a desk drawer inside the same classroom. The bills had been photocopied beforehand and the serial numbers carefully recorded. Similar bills were also placed in another classroom, as well as the Media Center. A hidden camera was also placed inside one of the classrooms.
An hour later, after Jones had reported for work, video surveillance cameras showed him entering the original classroom and exiting two minutes later. Officers checked the room after Jones had left and found the planted money missing. The hidden camera inside the second classroom showed Jones going through a teacher’s desk, counting the money that had been planted there, and then placing it back inside the desk.
A few hours later, Jones was confronted by investigators and school administrators. He was found to be in possession of three of the four missing $20 bills.
“There had been reports for a while of money missing from classrooms,” said Brad Douglas, of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office. “The SROs set up and conducted the investigation and did a real good job.”
According to the incident report, Jones was placed on administrative leave until further notice. At press time, information on his continued employment with the School District was unavailable.