A trio of former high school football players in Houston, one of whom is the younger brother of a player for the Miami Dolphins, are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of laptop computers from their school’s library, with some of the thefts occurring just hours before their collective graduation.
As reported by Houston ABC affiliate KTRK, among other outlets, three former members of the Wheatley High School (Houston, Texas) football team broke into their school three times between the evening of June 1 and early morning of June 2. Over the course of the three break-ins, the thieves took a total of 172 laptop computers valued at $223,000.
Per KTRK, Fabian Parker Willis, Keith Paul Anthony Collins and Earl Williams all face charges of theft valued at or more than $150,000 but less than $300,000. The trio was identified by an HISD school resource officer and a fellow Wheatley staffer who recognized them when reviewing surveillance camera images of the break-in.
Williams has already been taken into custody and posted bond, while warrants have been issued for Willis and Collins.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the theft, aside from its scope, is its timing. The three suspects were all graduating seniors, whose commencement was held on June 2. That means the bulk of the theft occurred the night before they walked across the stage, with the last tranche taken just hours before the athletes arrived at their own graduation ceremony.
According to KTRK, Wheatley football coach Cornelius McFarland was asked to assist in the investigation but was reluctant to identify the three suspects. Apparently part of that reluctance was rooted in the success of Collins’ brother; Xavien Howard is now a fourth-year cornerback for the Miami Dolphins.
No details have been released about Williams’ next court appearance, or a prospective judicial schedule for Willis or Collins, though all three could face jail time if convicted of the charges against them.