Palmyra school employee accused of series of thefts from teachers totaling $925

PALMYRA, Lebanon County — An IT employee with the Palmyra School District is facing theft charges after police say he stole a total of $925 from seven different teachers over a four-month period from December of 2016 through March of this year, according to a criminal complaint filed by Palmyra Borough Police.

Mark Allan Martin, 27, of Clearfield, is charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking, the complaint says.

Police began investigating Martin after the Palmyra School District Superintendent alerted police to a theft that occurred on March 30, the complaint states. According to police, district superintendent Lisa Brown requested an investigation, stating that a teacher at Palmyra Middle School reported the theft of $300 to $400 in cash from her purse. The teacher said the money, which was the proceeds from a t-shirt order, was stolen during second period and that Martin was in the classroom at the time.

According to the criminal complaint, Brown told police that there had been four prior instances of theft from the Palmyra Area Middle School in the past two months, and at least one other theft from Northside Elementary School during the same period. Martin was assigned to both of those schools, police say.

Brown later sent police a list of all the reported thefts that had occurred, which included dates, locations, dollar amounts and victims’ names, the criminal complaint says.

The thefts on the list included:

  • Theft of $50 from a teacher at Northside Elementary School on Feb. 27, 2017
  • Theft of $150 from the Palmyra Middle School Library the week of Dec. 22, 2016 and the week of Jan. 27, 2017
  • Theft of $200 from a teacher at Palmyra Middle School during the week of Jan. 23
  • Theft of $20 from another teacher at Palmyra Middle School during the week of Jan. 23
  • Theft of $100 from a teacher at Palmyra Middle School during the week of Feb. 13
  • Theft of $300-$400 from a teacher at Palmyra Middle School during the week of March 30
  • Theft of $5 from another teacher at Palmyra Middle School during the week of March 30

Brown also sent police access logs for Martin’s identity badge, which is used to access locked doors in the schools, from Nov. 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, the criminal complaint states. Police say the access logs showed Martin’s badge was used to access the locations of each theft during the time that the thefts reportedly occurred.

Police interviewed the teachers involved from May 3 through Nov. 4, according to the criminal complaint.

A Palmyra Borough Police officer spoke with Martin on May 11, the criminal complaint states. In the interview, Martin allegedly admitted to taking the $300-$400 from a classroom at the Middle School. He allegedly told police that he had overdrawn his bank account while paying for an inspection and new tires on his vehicle.

During an interview with State Police on May 30, Martin allegedly said, in reference to the other thefts from school employees, “Well, I do certainly regret what I did and it certainly won’t happen again,” the criminal complaint states.

Police filed the charge against Martin on Nov. 13, at the conclusion of interviews with all of the teachers who reported the thefts, according to the criminal complaint.