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Fairfax school employee charged with embezzlement in school laptop thefts

A Fairfax County schools employee was arrested Monday on charges that he stole hundreds of school system computers and put them up for sale online.

Craig Soderberg, 60, of Alexandria was charged with two counts of embezzlement in a scheme to refurbish older laptops and sell them on the secondary market, police said. They said they found more than 1,200 laptops at Soderberg’s home in a search on Thursday.

The arrest comes two months after a county middle school principal and a schools finance secretary were arrested on charges of stealing county funds and paying their own children for work they allegedly never performed.

“The timing probably is coincidental,” said Superintendent Karen Garza. “On the other hand, it is so unfortunate when we’re able to identify situations like these.”

Soderberg was placed on administrative leave Thursday and resigned his post on Friday.

Craig Soderberg (Fairfax County Police)

Soderberg, who joined Fairfax County schools in 1998, had worked for the past 13 years as the manager of a warehouse owned by the administration at 6800 Industrial Rd. in Springfield. Obsolete equipment, including older-model computers, furniture and other office items, are stored at the facility, school officials said.

The school system became aware of the suspected embezzlement in June, investigated the matter internally and then notified police in October.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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