Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Pasco school custodian accused of stealing, pawning equipment

DADE CITY — A custodian for Pasco Middle School is accused of stealing more than $2,000 in lawn equipment and selling it at county pawn shops, authorities said.

Todd E. Helms, 29, was arrested Wednesday and charged with multiple counts of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership. He is accused of stealing the items from May to January. Helms has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, said Pasco schools spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli. She said he has worked for the school system for four years. She was not aware of whether the stolen items were recovered.

Helms is accused of stealing a golf cart, a leaf blower and a gas-powered hedge trimmer, according to the Dade City Police Department. Authorities say Helms repeatedly pawned the leaf blower and hedge trimmer, rebought them and then pawned them again.

Helms, of 38646 Rose Lane in Zephyrhills, declined an interview request from the Times on Thursday. He is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $144,000 bail.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

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