Fact check: Did Cam Newton steal Florida student’s laptop? Analyzing former MVP’s felony charges and jail time

Fact check: Did Cam Newton steal Florida student’s laptop? Analyzing former MVP’s felony charges and jail time

Cam Newton played two seasons for the Florida Gators before his Heisman Trophy-winning season with Auburn. He was seen as Tim Tebow’s successor at Gainesville after beating John Brantley for the backup role. However, he announced his intention to transfer three days before his team’s 2008 national championship win over Oklahoma.

That game was Tebow’s final collegiate game, and Newton was poised to be next in line. Seeing how his career unfolded, Florida could have been a legitimate contender for a while. Unfortunately, Newton left the team and nearly jeopardized his football career because of an ill-advised act.

Cam Newton was charged with felony counts for stealing a laptop

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Circumstances didn’t turn out well for Newton in 2008. He had a medical redshirt season after an injury during their season opener against the Hawaii Warriors. He was later charged with felony charges of larceny, burglary, and obstruction of justice for allegedly stealing Paul Loschak’s laptop. Loschak was a senior at the University of Florida, while Newton was a sophomore.

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The charges were dropped when Cam Newton completed a pre-trial diversion program. It was later reported that he also faced expulsion for three counts of academic dishonesty. He played six games in two seasons for Florida, completing six passes out of 12 attempts for 54 yards. He also had 113 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

According to Nathan Crabbe’s article for theledger.com, Loschak reported that his laptop was stolen from his unlocked dorm room on October 16. He then received a message in his UF email that his internet connection was canceled for using the file-sharing program LimeWire. However, the university discovered that someone had used Newton’s login credentials to access the school’s network.

When the police initially went to Newton’s dorm room, they found a laptop similar to Loschak’s but with a different serial number. It turned out that the police had written the wrong serial number. Detectives found it a match with Loschak’s lost laptop. However, the computer was gone when the police returned.

Upon his arrest on November 11, 2008, Cam Newton allegedly received a text message that the laptop was already in the dumpster. It is believed that he threw the computer out of his dorm room window to hide the evidence. Loschak originally painted a forest scene for easier identification. The retrieved laptop had black paint with Newton’s name written in white.

Cam Newton bounced back after that incident

Newton became the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after a year at Auburn. He became the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player and a three-time Pro Bowler. He also led the Carolina Panthers to a stint in Super Bowl 50, but they lost to the Denver Broncos.

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He did look back on the incident in November 2017 by posting a mugshot of himself on Instagram. As translated from Newton’s signature font usage, the quarterback said:

He added:

Meanwhile, Loschak is uncertain if Newton stole his laptop. In the same article from theledger.com, he said:

Cam Newton is hoping for an NFL comeback after not playing in 2022. He threw to 2023 NFL Draft prospects during Auburn’s Pro Day and recently declared to the quarterbacks he’s willing to be a backup.

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