Suspect in Jail After Parking Lot Thefts

Stratford enjoys a safety unmatched by the real world.  Students save their spots at the lunch table with their iPhones.  Others lose keys or jewelry — only to find a note on Ms. Robin Schorr’s board calling them in to retrieve their items.

Many students also never lock their cars.

This sense of security was dented last month when about $100 in cash was stolen from four students’ cars in the middle of the school day.

Seniors Brighten Donner and Sam Jenkins were returning early from long lunch on Tuesday, Jan. 13 when they recognized a former student from First Presbyterian Day School lurking among students’ cars in the parking lot.

“I just walked back into the building because I didn’t actually see him in a car or anything, so there wasn’t much I could do from there. So I just went in and told Coach Chance,” Donner said. “He and  Dr. Veto went down there and found him in Jake Thomas’  car.”

“When he saw us coming he drove off” said Reynolds, who took down a description of the man and his license plate number.

Police arrested Wesley Gilbert of Macon on Jan. 15.  He is charged with criminal trespass and  “entering automobile or other motor vehicle with intent to commit theft or felony,” according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.  He also is charged with parole and probation violations.

Reynolds said that the money could not be returned to the students.

“I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea that you lock your doors and that you’re more vigilant about your stuff,”  Reynolds said. “It’s one reason I love the Honor Code.  Our kids really do abide by the honor code and we don’t have a lot of theft in our school.”

Junior Savannah Joyner that money was stolen from her wallet, which she left in her car.

“It probably wasn’t over $20,” said Joyner, who added that she has begun to lock her car more because of the theft.

“I’m so proud of the two young men who came and got me, Sam Jenkins and Brighten Donner,” Reynolds said.  “I was extremely proud of them for coming to get me right away.  Because they care about us and they care about our students and they care about our school and they knew that something was not right.”

According to Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Gilbert is still in jail, with bail set at $3,775.  The Bibb County District Attorney’s office said that no court date has been set.