TCU Police arrested a student on March 2 on a warrant for theft, according to Sgt. Kelly Ham of the criminal investigations department.
Elijah M. Herring was arrested on suspicion of theft in the amount of $50 to $500, which is a Class B misdemeanor.
Herring confessed to stealing multiple wallets from the student recreational center, but he is only being charged with one count of theft, Sgt. Ham said.
Sgt. Ham said there have been nine reports of stolen wallets from the rec since Feb. 10. They suspect Herring for the majority of the thefts, but not all of them, he said.
Herring was released on a bond of $1,500 on March 3. He is still listed as a student on Frog Calls, and the university still considers him a student for this semester, according to TCU Director of Communications Lisa Albert.
Sgt. Ham filed the case with the district attorney’s office on March 3, and it was accepted Tuesday morning.
The TCU Police Department had been working on the case diligently since the thefts began in early February, Sgt. Ham said.
“What we were able to do is take the dates of the crimes and compare it with access to the Rec and come up with common factors,” Sgt. Ham said. “Then we came up with a suspect and were actually able to pick him up on video stealing money out of two wallets in the weight room.”
Jay McNew, a junior music education major, works at the rec center. He noticed Herring acting suspicious one night about getting his student ID back for a rented basketball. McNew took note of his name.
Later that night, someone reported their wallet had been stolen. The employees went looking for Herring at the advice of McNew. When they spotted Herring, he ran.
McNew pulled up a picture of Herring and the other employees confirmed that it was the same man they saw running away. This information was later given to the police officers investigating the thefts.
Sgt. Ham said that some of the wallets were found in the men’s restrooms in trashcans, and one was found in Herring’s dorm.
Herring faces a punishment of a fine not to exceed $2,000 or confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days, or both a fine and jail time, Sgt. Ham said.
Herring was featured in a previous edition of “TCU News Now,” where he was interviewed about Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Mr. Crimson and Creme pageant that took place on March 1.
Kirsten Ham, a sophomore entrepreneurial management and marketing double major, works at the rec center. She said that the thefts occurred at the basketball courts because students leave their wallets out while playing.
Ham said there are lockers inside the courts with three-digit combinations that students rarely use.
Kyle Whelpley, a first-year business major, said he comes to the rec everyday, but does not bring his wallet. He said he leaves his keys and student ID on the benches while he plays basketball.
Sgt. Ham said he suggests that students take advantage of the lockers available and not to carry large sums of cash if they are going to leave their wallets in an open cubbyhole or on a gym bench.