Police arrest former LSU worker accused of taking university equipment

Police arrest former LSU worker accused of taking university equipment

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A former LSU employee was arrested after allegedly not returning equipment taken from the university.

The Irving Texas Police along with the LSU Police arrested 38-year-old Srinivas Thouta, of Irving, Texas, on several charges including theft.

Thouta had been let go from LSU in December 2015 after not having showed up for work for over six months. The university then reviewed all the equipment and money that Thouta had access to while working there. Officials said he did not have permission to work remotely or take equipment off university property.

According to a police report, Thouta used his job as a state employee to get items needed for his work on LSU's campus. He then used the items at his home in Texas for private commercial use which was not tied to his LSU job and without the university's permission.

Thouta allegedly also used LSU funds to buy multiple items, including computers and office equipment. The equipment was valued at about $6,000.

A search warrant was obtained after Thouta stated in a email that was sent on February 24 to himself and nine other LSU employees that he had several items which he said he would return to the university.

According to a report, an officer with LSU Police attempted to try and meet up with Thouta to retrieve the items, but was unable to do so after Thouta canceled a planned met up in Shreveport and stopped responding to the officer both by phone and email.

While executing the search warrant at Thouta's residence in Irving, law enforcement said they found other items that he had not mentioned and allegedly had no intention of returning to the university.

Thouta was arrested and charged with five counts of felony unauthorized use of a movable, eight counts of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a movable, one count of malfeasance in office and one count of theft over $5,000.

Thouta was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison before being released on $37,500 bond.

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