By Barbara Wood
Special to the Almanac
Michael William Taylor, the 28-year-old former Menlo School assistant coach who Atherton police say stole iPads from Menlo School students, has been charged with misdemeanor theft by the San Mateo County district attorney. He is due in court on Jan. 24 at 9 a.m., District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Three counts were filed against Mr. Taylor, Mr. Wagstaffe said, two for petty theft and one for grand theft. If convicted, Mr. Taylor faces up to a year in county jail. He cannot be sentenced to state prison for a misdemeanor, Mr. Wagstaffe pointed out.
The DA's office chose to charge Mr. Taylor with a misdemeanor based on his cooperation with the Atherton police and his lack of a previous record, Mr. Wagstaffe said. "He doesn't need to have a felony label," he said. "He showed remorse for what he did."
Atherton police said Mr. Taylor voluntarily came in to the Atherton Police Department on Nov. 16 and during an interview "confessed to Detective (Jason) Yoakum that he stole two Apple iPads from Menlo School students, while on campus."
The two iPads were later found in a search of Mr. Taylor's San Leandro apartment.
A few weeks earlier, however, on Nov. 1, Mr. Taylor helped to capture two campus thieves, who were seen taking students' backpacks. He told the student newspaper that he chased one of the suspects down and turned him over to the Atherton police.
"He was a suspect in the series of thefts before he was a witness in the crime which led to the arrest of the Menlo College students," Sgt. Sherman Hall said. "Taylor had been observed loitering near an area where some property went missing," he said.
Mr. Taylor had worked as a baseball coach at Menlo School for six years, but is no longer working there, school officials said.