Contractor charged after $21,000 in equipment goes missing from Durham business

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – More than $21,000 worth of equipment has been stolen or gone missing from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham (NIEHS).  

Durham County Sheriff’s Office deputies are working to get that equipment back.  

Ryan Sims, 30, now a former contractor with the NIEHS, faces three felony larceny charges and three breaking and entering charges.  

According to a warrant, security officers at the institute have video of Sims stealing three laptops from a closet.  

“They detected the incident and reported it to authorities,” said Director of Communications Christine Flowers. She said there is not any sensitive information on the computers.  

“We have a certain number of computers that we have at the ready to change out for life cycle, and that’s where they came from,” Flowers said.   

The warrant said that on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, Sims’ days off, he grabbed the laptops from a closet he had access to.  

The institute believes seven computers, a 27-inch monitor, and Dell workstation have all gone missing in over the past month.  

“He is no longer allowed on the premises,” said Flowers.   

Deputies said Sims admitted to taking the workstation, but nothing else.

Investigators are now searching Sims’ cell phone in hopes to get more evidence to find the missing equipment.  

“The equipment will be replaced,” Flowers said.   

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