According to PennLive.com Tara Marie Smith, 34, of Harrisburg, was charged Monday in the theft, which allegedly occurred between 11 am and 3 pm on Jan. 9 at Susquenita High School in Perry County.
State Police Trooper Steven Papinchak said Smith admitted during an interview to stealing the 14-year-old student’s purse and then using the gift card.
Tara Marie Smith is the daughter of School District Superintendent, Kent R. Smith
Investigators narrowed suspicion to the math teacher after security officials at the Victoria Secret’s store where the card was redeemed identified Tara Smith as the shopper who used the gift card and had the purchase delivered to her home.
At the point of arrest, Smith still had $250 in cash that had been previously inside the teen’s purse, the arrest papers state.
Smith’s biography on the district’s website identified Tara Smith as one of his three children of Kent Smith, superintendent of the Suqeuinita School District.
A teacher profile for Tara Smith was no longer found on the school’s website as of Wednesday. In 2012, the Susquenita School Board waived its anti-nepotism policy to hire her and retroactively approve the hiring of five others with relatives on staff. Kent Smith said at the time that he wasn’t involved in his daughter’s hiring, PennLive.com reported.
Tara Smith, who could not be reached for comment, is facing charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and access device fraud.