Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
For Immediate Release
Friday, Nov. 20, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Former Ipswich School Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Larceny
IPSWICH – Police Chief Paul Nikas reports that a former Ipswich School District employee pleaded guilty to a felony larceny charge yesterday in Ipswich District Court.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, PAUL BEDARD, AGE 59, OF IPSWICH pleaded guilty to Larceny Over $250 on diverse dates from December 2009 through December 2013.
BEDARD stole musical instruments, electronics, and other pieces of technology and equipment from the Ipswich Public Schools and a number of individual students. In court, BEDARD admitted to taking the items over a three-year period and selling them on eBay for profit.
As a result, Judge Richard Mori sentenced BEDARD to:
- One year in a house of correction, suspended for two years
- Two years of supervised probation
- Pay restitution in the amount of $44,848 to the school district and parents who had their children’s instruments stolen
- Stay away from all school functions and property
“The school district’s steadfast resolve to prosecute this case, in conjunction with great police work and determination from my officers, resulted in a felony conviction with substantial restitution to all the victims,” Chief Nikas said. “Without this collaboration between the school district and the police department, this case may not have been resolved.”
In 2013, Officer Shawn Smith, the former School Resource Officer, started the initial investigation into the thefts. Former and present school employees, concerned citizens, and parents had reported several instances of larceny of stolen musical instruments, electronics, and other pieces of technology and equipment from the four Ipswich Public Schools.
After securing numerous search warrants on BEDARD’S PayPal and eBay accounts, Detective Peter Dziadose began conducting site visits and paper audit searches. As a result, additional items believed to be stolen and sold by BEDARD were discovered.
“I watched and conferred with Detective Dziadose as he spent hundreds of man hours on this case over a 12 to 14 month period, slowly building a case,” Chief Nikas said. “He did an amazing job reviewing hundreds of documents to secure the evidence needed for a favorable conclusion. I commend his professionalism and determination.”
Chief Nikas also thanks the Essex District Attorney’s Office, specifically First Assistant District Attorney John Dawley, the Ipswich School Committee and Superintendent Bill Hart for their assistance during the investigation and prosecution of the case.
Original press release from April 30, 2015:
IPSWICH — After a thorough investigation into allegations of theft reported by the Ipswich Public Schools, Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas announces that a former school employee has been charged in connection with the theft of two Commercial Floor Strippers from the schools in town.
PAUL BEDARD, AGE 58, OF IPSWICH was charged with one count of Larceny over $250 and three counts of Attempting to Commit Larceny over $250 for allegedly stealing pieces of floor stripping equipment from Ipswich Public Schools and selling them on eBay.
“It is unfortunate to learn that a fellow community employee has allegedly stolen from the people whose job it is to serve,” Chief Nikas said. “Our detectives acted deliberately and appropriately to put an end to this alleged scheme, and I would like to thank Ipswich Public Schools for their support and cooperation during the investigation.”
Former and present school employees, and concerned citizens and parents had reported several patterns of continuing larcenous schemes, which included stolen musical instruments, electronics, and other pieces of technology and equipment from the four Ipswich Public Schools. These incident reports led to the investigation and charges.
Detective Peter Dziadose and School Resource Officer Shawn Smith worked in collaboration with the school district’s support staff in order to determine a pattern in the nearly identical thefts. After receiving several anonymous tips regarding eBay postings for auction items similar to those missing from the schools, investigators were able to identify the alleged seller as BEDARD.
BEDARD was set to be arraigned in Ipswich District Court on Thursday.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.