Police: Student stole money for drugs
Last Modified: February 23. 2013 2:47PM
WILKES-BARRE – A Meyers High School senior and decorated wrestler stole $260 from the safe of Abe’s Hot Dogs to buy marijuana, police said.
Justin Elick, 18, of Oxford Street, handed over to police a bag containing the money when they met with him in a school locker room Thursday morning, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed to support a charge of theft by unlawful taking.
He was mailed a summons notice Friday to appear for an 11 a.m. April 2 preliminary hearing before District Justice Rick Cronauer.
Elick, who has more than 110 wins as a high school wrestler, was pulled from the District 2 championships scheduled to begin Friday at Lake-Lehman High School. He was the second seed in the 132-pound weight class.
Elick could not be reached for comment Friday.
Wilkes-Barre Area School District Superintendent Bernard Prevuznak said he could not comment on whether Elick was still attending classes.
The alleged theft happened “outside the realm of the school day,” Prevuznak said, adding, if an arrest raised a safety issue for other students, the district would get “very involved” by seeking alternative placement for the accused student.
According to the affidavit: Police officers Tino Ninotti and Shane Yelland were called to Abe’s on Barney Street around 8:30 a.m. Thursday for the report of a theft by Elick, a family member of an employee. Bill Obied, of Abe’s, said video surveillance captured the theft from the safe, and he identified Elick as the person who stole the money.
Police were informed that Elick was en route to wrestling practice at Meyers. The officers went to the school, met with the principal and accompanied him to the boys’ locker room to find Elick. Police advised him why they were there and Elick voluntarily opened up a locker and handed Yelland a bag of money. Elick said he took the money to buy marijuana.
Police returned the money to Obied, who counted it and said it all had been recovered.