Heroin-Addicted Teacher Turns Cat Burglar

By Kirwan Gray 04/22/11

Substitute teacher allegedly stole computers from the school before knocking off a bank and robbing the same neighbor twice.

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Stealing school computers to buy smack.
Photo via newnation

Twenty five-year old Philicia Barbieri’s ambition to be a substitute teacher in the Pittsburgh Public School System was no match for her heroin addiction. Her career hit a rocky patch when she was suspended last month and charged with stealing more than $22,000 worth of computer equipment, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And that was only the beginning of Barbieri’s downward spiral. Last week, she was charged with two counts of burglary, theft and conspiracy after she and her boyfriend used a credit card to jimmy the door lock on a downstairs neighbor’s apartment and make off with a 42-inch flat screen TV. They got $1,000 for it on Larimer Avenue, and bought heroin. It turned out to be the second time around—Barbieri admitted they had broken into the same apartment previously, taking a Nintendo Wii, which they also sold on the street for heroin money. But much of this is probably lost on Ms. Barbieri, who, it turns out, is already in jail as a suspect in a bank robbery on April 15. The Post-Gazette reports that Barbieri told detectives she had become addicted to painkillers given to her by a Florida physician, and had moved on to a $100-a-day heroin habit.

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