Booking photo for Terry J. Trinkella (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A 35-year-old Hyrum man has admitted to stealing computer hardware while employed at Utah State University. Terry J. Trinkella accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison for up to five years.

Trinkella appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. He pleaded guilty to burglary, a third-degree felony; and theft, a class A misdemeanor.

In July 2020, the USU Police Department began investigating the disappearance of several computers. The thefts occurred in several buildings on the Logan campus and South Farm campus. The items included computer hard drives, wireless network cards and an Apple Surface Studio computer. The thefts occurred in classrooms that are used for the purpose of transmitting USU courses electronically and are thus kept in an unlocked and accessible state.

Security footage showed Trinkella exiting the building. He was carrying a large square item wrapped in a garbage bag under his right arm.

Police later searched Trinkella’s vehicle and located a backpack that belonged to the defendant. Inside were several items of computer hardware, including hard drives, memory cards, and SD cards.

During Monday’s hearing, Trinkella said he wished to waive his right to a fair trial and pleaded guilty to the two charges.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop seven remaining charges.

Trinkella is currently out of jail on bail. He was scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 27.

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