PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say a local high school teacher’s career was destroyed by drug addiction.
Philicia Barbieri was arrested on Friday after police say she and Alvin Carter III robbed the Fifth Third bank on Penn Circle in East Liberty.
But just two days before, Barbieri was at the Zone 2 police station confessing to stealing a dozen or more computers from CAPA High School where she had worked as a chemistry teacher.
Police say Barbieri had been stealing laptops from the school on a regular basis until another teacher saw her taking one from a room where she didn’t teach classes. She was also caught on surveillance video.
Barbieri admitted to police that she stole between 10 and 15 laptops form CAPA between January and March and that she sold each one to a drug dealer for cash or heroin.
“She let us know that about six months ago, she was in a car accident and she became addicted to painkillers,” Pittsburgh Police Detectve John Mook said.
Barbieri told Detective Mook she soon became addicted to heroin and her habit spiraled out of control. She began stealing to feed her addiction.
Detective Mook: “She was using about five bags a day.”
Andy Sheehan: “Really? That’s a lot of heroin.”
Detective Mook: “Yeah, she’s a very petite girl. She’s only about 5-foot 3-inches, maybe 110 pounds, so five bags a day, that’s an expensive habit.”
Police are reviewing other thefts to see if there’s any similarities or characteristics involved that may be connected to Barbieri and Allen, according to Lt. Kevin Kraus.
For the time being, she is still an employee of the school district. She’s on paid suspension pending a termination hearing; however, it’s highly unlikely she’ll ever return to a classroom here.
Now Barbieri languishes in jail in lieu of $25,000 straight bond on charges of bank robbery, conspiracy and theft.