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Sacramento State Police Search for Suspected Laptop Thief

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State University police say they now know who stole more than 30 laptops from an English classroom last year.

In October of 2017, the discovery was made inside a Calaveras Hall computer lab on Sacramento State’s campus.

"When a student came to sign out for the lab, they discovered that 35 laptop computers were missing," said Sacramento State Police Lt. Harvey Woo.

The Dell Latitude laptops cost the university a combined $40,000 loss.

Woo said for weeks his detectives were reviewing surveillance video.

"We came up with several vehicles that potentially could be the vehicles being used because 30 laptops you can’t walk off with it. There has to be some transportation," he said.

But the crack in the case actually came from a staff member at the State Hornet school paper.

Someone was selling exactly 35 of those same Dell Latitude laptops on eBay. So the student paper alerted police.

Working with eBay, detectives were able to track down the people who bought some of those computers and confirmed a suspicion the police department had about who the seller was.

The buyers said it was 39-year-old Nicholas Mackenzie who sold them the computers.

"Mr. Mackenzie is wanted by multiple jurisdictions," Woo said.

That includes warrants out of Shasta County, Folsom and Sacramento, according to Sacramento State police.

"Yeah, he did a burglary of very valuable construction equipment. I believe he’s also wanted for vehicle theft," Woo said.

Lt. Woo said Mackenzie is also a prime suspect in several other thefts on campus. Investigators believe he’s currently out of the state but they’re hoping someone will recognize him and turn him in, wherever he is.

"Any help we could get to get him apprehended would be deeply appreciated," Woo said.

Police on campus say they’re still not sure how Mackenzie got into that computer lab in the first place.