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School thefts involve e-Bay

Two employees of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District were arrested Friday for allegedly stealing electronics from the district and selling them on e-Bay.

Brian E. Johnson, 50, and Brian J. Searls, 25, both of Wilsonville, were charged with aggravated theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

The pair were lodged in the Clackamas County Jail on $50,000 bail each.

West Linn police were notified by an e-Bay representative that a number of the Web site's customers had complained about buying items that were labeled 'Property of West Linn-Wilsonville School District.'

West Linn detectives and deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at two of Johnson's residences in Wilsonville. They recovered computers, videorecorders, TVs, monitors and microphones - all of which, police allege, were stolen from the school district.

The two have been employed as couriers for the district for three to four years.

'Investigators believe that the thefts began around November 2005,' said West Linn Police Sgt. Neil Hennelly. 'The stolen property, mainly electronics, was sold to unsuspecting buyers on e-Bay.'

According to investigators, Johnson sold the items that he and Searls had taken from the schools, apparently without removing the identifying marks.

Upon their arrest, both men's employment with the school district was terminated, according to district Public Information Officer Cindy Garrison.