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Fla. high school coach allegedly stole $950 from players' wallets

Florida high school football coach Rodney Barnes was arrested after authorities say he repeatedly stole money from students' wallets. CBS affiliate WKMG

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida high school football coach has been arrested after authorities say he repeatedly stole money from students' wallets.

Volusia County sheriff's officials said they used invisible luminescent powder sprinkled on decoy money to catch Rodney Barnes.

Authorities said nine students lost $950, but they expect those numbers to rise as the investigation continues.

After several thefts in the boys' locker room, the school bought an ultraviolet theft detection kit and the sheriff's office launched "Operation Sticky Fingers."

According to CBS affiliate WKMG, deputies used a special powder that's invisible to the eyes, coating several bills with the powder, then leaving the money in a wallet in a student's locker. When the money disappeared, the station says, deputies and school administrators used a special ultraviolet light and found the powder glowing on Barnes' hands.

Barnes admitted to taking a $50 bill from the student's wallet. He also admitted to several other thefts totaling $170. However, deputies are continuing to investigate more thefts than the ones to which Barnes initially admitted.

A student was given a wallet containing $141 and each bill was coated with luminescent powder. After some of the money was taken, officials search students for traces of the powder.

Forty-three year-old Barnes admitted taking the money and confessed to several other thefts.

He was charged Monday with burglary and grand theft.

  • Crimesider Staff

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