By Ryan Yousefi
A former Renaissance Charter School employee was arrested and charged with stealing school electronics and pawning them across Broward County.
Keith Coleman, 34, of Pompano Beach, who had up until recently worked for five years as a security specialist at the school, was arrested on December 6 after a lengthy police investigation.
The investigation into Coleman’s alleged crimes was prompted by the school principal, Lynette Self, who reported a theft to the Coral Springs Police. It was later determined the school was missing a large number of electronics, including laptops and tablets, and police were eventually able to trace the transactions back to Coleman.
After Self had reported a theft, on November 6, Coral Springs Police contacted her to make her aware Coleman had pawned electronics that belonged to the school. She obtained a list of items he had pawned and cross-checked them with school inventory to confirm the items were the property of Renaissance Charter School and missing from campus.
The confirmation of Coleman’s theft led to a deeper investigation into his previous transactions at pawn shops.
Officers found that on 87 occasions — as far back as January of 2017, Coleman had pawned items at four pawn stores in Broward and two different jewelry stores.
According to estimates and receipts of transactions obtained from the shops Coleman visited, the total value of the goods stolen was $23,800.
On November 7, officers visited the Value Pawn and Jewelry located at 3191 North Dixie Highway and met with a manager. Officers were presented with a large number of transaction tickets — most that involved the pawning of a Lenovo laptop or Apple tablet — that all listed Coleman as the customer.
On November 9, officers made a similar visit to the Value Pawn and Jewelry located at 2001 North State Road 7. There, they were able to review 12 tickets that correlated to transactions Coleman had made over the last two years.
After contacting all the pawn shops and jewelry stores involved, reviewing the transactions, speaking to employees and witnesses, and cross-referencing the items against a list of missing school inventory, officers contacted Coleman via phone. He agreed to meet at the Coral Springs Police Department on December 6 to discuss his involvement further.
After a brief interview, Coleman was placed under arrest and transported to the Main Broward County Jail, where he faces 49 various charges, including grand theft.
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.