State College Man Facing Burglary Charges
January 12, 2018 3:51 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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A State College man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges after he allegedly stole more than $900 from a desk at his former employer's office.

According to a criminal complaint filed on Friday, the office manager at Park Forest apartments reported to Ferguson Township Police that some time between Nov. 20 and Dec. 14 someone had taken approximately $920 from a desk drawer. The office manager did not suspect any coworkers and said that she, a coworker or their boss were in the office at all times during business hours, meaning the theft probably occurred when the office was closed.

On Jan. 5, a covert camera with a motion sensor to record automatically was installed in the office. Police said that between 2:17 a.m. and 2:25 a.m. on Jan. 6 the camera recorded a white male at the desk, opening drawers and picking up items then walking around. The male wore glasses, a light-colored hooded sweatshirt that covered the top of his head and what appeared to be latex gloves.

According to the complaint, police showed still images from the camera to staff and management who identified the individual as former employee Benjamin J. Rupert, 29.

Police went to Rupert's apartment on Jan. 8 and he came outside wearing a T-shirt and shorts, then asked if he could go back inside to get his glasses. When he returned he reportedly was wearing glasses and a light colored hooded sweatshirt with the same print as was seen in the surveillance video.

Presented with the surveillance photographs, Rupert allegedly admitted to being the male in the pictures and said he used bobby pins to pick the lock on the office door. He also reportedly admitted to wearing latex gloves so as not to leave fingerprints.

Rupert told police he felt disgruntled toward an employee at the company and that he was going to "mess with" the office, but only took two lollipops, according to the complaint.

He did not initially admit to previously entering the office and taking the money, police said. Later that day, however, he contacted police and confessed to entering the office and taking approximately $900 from the desk drawer, according to the complaint. He reportedly told police he had broken into the office the second time to return the money because he felt bad.

Rupert was charged with two felony counts of burglary, two felony counts of criminal trespass and misdemeanor counts of theft and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned on Friday morning before District Judge Carmine Prestia and was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

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