READING, Pa. – A Muhlenberg vocational center employee resigned recently after a student stole a handgun from his vehicle while it was in the student shop.
The Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center issued a statement about the incident that resulted in the student waltzing around with a handgun for about six hours after school May 3.
“On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, a Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center employee brought a legally registered handgun onto campus, where it remained in the employee’s vehicle,” the statement read. “Later that day, the employee arranged to have work performed on the car by student learners in one of the Center’s transportation programs. A student in the program saw the gun and unlawfully removed it from the car and campus.”
The unidentified employee noticed the gun, which he was legally allowed to own, was missing when he got out of work around 3 p.m., and the employee immediately notified school officials and Muhlenberg Township Police, Lehigh Valley Live reports.
Police tracked down the student who allegedly swiped the gun and recovered the weapon around 9 p.m. the same evening.
“The student has been suspended by the Center,” according to the school notice. “The Joint School Committee of the Reading and Muhlenberg school districts met Monday, May 9, 2016, to discuss the incident. They also accepted the resignation of the employee, effective Thursday, May 5, 2016.
Neither news reports nor the school’s statement detail whether the student or school employee is expected to face criminal charges.
Career center director Gerald Witmer told PennLive the employee who resigned was “long-term.”
Parents and local residents who commented online, of course, were not impressed by the incident.
“This situation could have turned out very bad. The school’s response was appropriate,” EileenA posted in the Lehigh Valley Live comments. “They can’t afford to have irresponsible people on staff.”
“Kudos to the employee. He notified police immediately and voluntarily resigned, though I don’t believe he needed to do the latter since he was not in violation of any laws. I have a feeling he felt pressured into doing that,” cogburn wrote.
“That is not up to me to determine, but I can certainly say that he acted irresponsibly as a gun owner and educator,” GW Hayduke added. “Responsibility is a basic requirement of gun ownership.”
“Why isn’t the student being charged with theft of a firearm?” Derek questioned.