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NJ man charged with theft of 10 laptops from UConn

Nov. 18—University of Connecticut police have arrested a New Jersey man in connection with the theft of $20,000 worth of laptops in 2020, as part of a scheme the man was conducting against numerous schools, according to a police affidavit.

The man, William Waldron, 79, was charged with first-degree larceny. He is free on a promise to appear and his next court date is scheduled for Jan. 4.

The police affidavit supporting his arrest provides the following details:

In September 2020, police were notified about a missing order of 10 Apple Macbook Pro laptops worth approximately $20,000.

They had been ordered for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and were supposed to be delivered to a faculty member, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were sent to the campus’ shipping and delivery warehouse instead.

Police were able to speak with the UPS employee who delivered the laptops.

On the day he delivered the packages, he was told by a company dispatcher to call the faculty member who was planning to pick up the laptops, the driver said.

He also informed the workers at the warehouse that someone would be coming by to pick up the packages, and when the driver returned later in the day, employees said that’s what had happened.

But on the same day, he received a call from an unknown man who said he was traveling from New Jersey to pick up the laptops, the driver said.

He said an older man stopped him on his way out of the building and asked him for directions to the warehouse. He had what appeared to be tracking numbers for packages.

Surveillance video captured the man’s vehicle, and police used the license plate number to trace it to Waldron in New Jersey. Waldron’s name also appeared on the warehouse’s delivery signature log the day the laptops arrived. UConn records showed he didn’t have any affiliation with the university.

UConn police then learned that New Jersey police arrested Waldron in the spring of 2020 for the possession of stolen property. Waldron was the subject of multiple investigations, in connection with the fraudulent purchase or reception of technology equipment from school systems in that state.

In January, police were contacted by a man from New Jersey seeking to verify a serial number of a laptop. He had responded to a Facebook Marketplace listing by a “Bill Waldron” for an Apple Macbook Pro.

Waldron turned on the laptop when they met to discuss the purchase, and the screen showed a UConn-affiliated login page, the man said.

He didn’t purchase the laptop after learning it was stolen, the man said.

For breaking news and happenings in North Central Connecticut, follow Matthew Knox on Twitter: @MatthewPKnoxJI, and Facebook: Matthew P. Knox JI.

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