Two charged in computer thefts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2005

WINDSOR n Two arrests have been made, one a family member of a prominent Bertie County education official, in connection with the alleged theft and sell of computer equipment owned by the Bertie County Public School system.

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins reported that Emmanuel Levar Smallwood, 18, and Gary Lee Cordon Jr., 28, both of Windsor, were arrested in the case. Cordon is the son of Rev. Gary Cordon, Chairman of the Bertie County Board of Education.

Cordon Jr. is also a former teacher and coach at Bertie High School, according to an athletic official at the school.

Smallwood, arrested Tuesday by Bertie Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman, was charged with one felony count each of breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods. He was placed under a $15,000 secured bond and had his first court appearance on Wednesday. There, his probable cause hearing was scheduled for Sept. 1.

Cordon Jr., arrested by Pittman on Wednesday, was charged with one felony count of possession of stolen goods and was placed under a $5,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 24 at which time his probable cause hearing date will be set.

Sheriff Atkins said his office had received information on the case from a person employed by a Roanoke-Chowan area business.

"We were told that an individual was attempting to sell brand new laptop computers for $500," Atkins said. "We were able to retrieve one of the laptops and, from the serial number, were able to determine it belonged to Bertie County Schools."

Although there had been no reports received from the school system concerning stolen property, Atkins and his investigators were able to determine that Smallwood, working with the school system as a summer employee, was allegedly stealing the computers and apparently giving them to Cordon Jr. to sell.

To date, Atkins said the investigation has determined 13 laptop computers were stolen from the school system. He said six have been recovered thus far.

Sheriff Atkins concluded by saying the investigation into this case continues and other charges as well as arrests are pending.