Theft charges filed against USU employee suspected of stealing computer hardware

LOGAN — Criminal charges have been filed against a Utah State University employee suspected of stealing computer hardware from the school.

Terry J. Trinkella was charged in 1st District Court with five counts of burglary or theft, both third-degree felonies; and four misdemeanor theft charges. The case was filed against the 34-year-old Hyrum man on Thursday.

The USU Police Department report in a search warrant affidavit that officers were called to investigate the disappearance of several computers in July. The thefts occurred in several buildings on the Logan campus and South Farm campus. The items reported stolen allegedly included “computer hard drives, wireless network cards and an Apple Surface Studio computer. The thefts occurred in classrooms that are used for the purpose of transmitting USU courses electronically and are thus kept in an unlocked and accessible state.”

The warrant stated, officers determined the Surface Studio computer was taken from a classroom in the Biology building. IT technicians were able to determine approximately when it was disconnected from the school’s network.

Police began evaluating security footage and viewed an individual matching Trinkella’s description exiting the building. He is reportedly a diesel generator technician at USU and had access to the area.

The warrant stated, Trinkella was seen “carrying a large square item wrapped in a garbage bag under his right arm.” The item was consistent in size and shape with the stolen computer. He then entered a USU facilities vehicle and left the area.

Police later searched the vehicle and located a backpack that belonged to Trinkella. Inside were several items of computer hardware, including hard drives, memory cards, and SD cards.

Trinkella has been summoned to appear in 1st District Court. He has not been arrested.


will@cvradio.com

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