Teacher stole student's violin to pay $700 ticket, police say

The principal and school police reviewed surveillance video, which they said showed the teacher stealing the violin.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb county teacher is facing charges after surveillance video captured him stealing a violin from one of his students.

Police told Channel 2's Michael Seiden that the teacher offered a full confession.

Investigators said Brockett Elementary School teacher Kalif Jones, 21, made his move while students were eating lunch in the cafeteria.

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Days later, he ended up confessing to the crime after learning that security cameras recorded the entire incident.

“Oh, my God. That’s not fair. That’s not right at all,” concerned parent Linda Kessie told Seiden. “I think it’s despicable and embarrassing, to say the least."

The criminal investigation began in late November after a 9-year-old student came home from school without his instrument. The violin is valued at $750.

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Police said the child's mother became concerned and reported it stolen to the school's principal.
Administrators at Brockett Elementary reviewed surveillance video that showed the teacher committing the unthinkable.

According to an incident report, the video showed Jones stealing the instrument from the cafeteria. It also showed Jones walking throughout the school with the violin case in hand before leaving with it.

“I think it’s really terrible that a teacher would take advantage of a situation,” Kessie said.

Police arrested Jones after they say he confessed to the crime, admitting that he stole the violin because he had recently received a $700 ticket and needed some money to help pay for it.

When Seiden stopped by his home Friday night to get his side of the story, an unidentified man, possibly the teacher’s father, answered the door.

When Seiden asked the man for a comment about this story, he just walked away.

Seiden contacted DeKalb County Schools for a comment about this story, but he said no one responded to his request.

He also contacted the victim’s mother, but she declined an on-camera interview. She told Seiden that the violin has since been recovered by police, and they are now waiting to get it back.