For a high school student, $150 is a lot of money. Whether earned at a job sandwiched between classes and homework, stored up after multiple birthdays, or even just collected, week after week, as an allowance, that kind of money doesn’t come easy to a teenager. Heck, it doesn’t even come easy to adults. So you can imagine that high school senior Tiana Rapp must have been rather upset when $150 went missing from her gym locker, despite the presence of an adult hall monitor.
It turns out that the monitor wasn’t much help in deterring theft as it was the monitor who committed the crime. Rapp reported the loss to school officials but was told that “there was nothing they could do and they were convinced that a student was doing it,” said Rapp. But Rapp, a “CSI” fan and an aspiring forensic scientist, wasn’t satisfied with the school’s response. After another $40 went missing, she and her lockermate (who lost $20) decided to take matters into her own hands.
Rapp and her friend set up a video camera and trained it on her locker. When they later viewed the tape, it took less than a quarter of an hour to get the answer they were looking for — they watched as hall monitor Linda Cubano, 54, opened the locker with a master key and began searching through the contents. “She was rummaging through everything,” Rapp said. After showing the video to school officials and police, Cubano was arrested and charged her with three counts of petty larceny.
As for Rapp’s sleuthing, “someone had to do something,” said her mother, Kelly Rapp, “otherwise it would just continue. I’m very proud of them for doing what they did.” Her mother isn’t the only fan of Rapp’s detective work, either. She noted that a number of students who lost items from their lockers have also thanked her. Well, add me to the list of her fans. I suspect that’s a young lady who will indeed go far.