Teacher pleads not guilty to charges of stealing laptop computers

CREATED Aug 11, 2014

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NEW BERLIN -- A high school English teacher is now getting a lesson in criminal law.

Amanda Rhyner, 27, appeared in a Waukesha County courtroom Monday facing four charges of theft; prosecutors accuse Rhyner of stealing laptop computers from New Berlin Eisenhower High School.
 
"This was an unfortunate, isolated incident and upon learning of it we took action to help prevent further incidents," said Joe Garza, New Berlin's superintendent. “The School District of New Berlin takes matters of theft very seriously."
 
Rhyner plead not guilty to the charges, which date back to last fall. That's when investigators claim Rhyner stole as many as three school laptops. The criminal complaint even lists security video that detectives say show the alleged thefts.
 
Still, that's not how the school found out there was a problem.
 
New Berlin police said a Waukesha man bought a computer on Craigslist and then submitted a request to Dell for a change of ownership.
 
Dell technicians, following procedure, then called the original owner for confirmation -- New Berlin Schools' IT Department.
 
The school then called police, who tracked the Craigslist ad to Amanda Rhyner, whom police said sold the laptop for $100.
 
Rhyner was released on a $1,500 bond; she will appear in court again next month.