Embattled CCSU Professor Caught Shoplifting at Home Depot: Cops

A Central Connecticut State University professor who made headlines when he was promoted while in jail last year has been arrested again, this time for stealing more than $1,300 from Home Depot in Middletown, according to police.

Police said Ravi Shankar, 40, of Rhode Island, grabbed items from store shelves at the Home Depot on Washington Street on July 29 and returned them for $1,339.75 in store credit.

An asset protection specialist who watched it happen brought Shankar back into the store and called 911, according the police report. The employee told investigators the bar codes of the items Shankar returned indicated they had not been purchased.

Shankar called the incident a misunderstanding and told officers they were "taking (employees') word for it," according to the police report.

"The facts of this matter have not been accurately reported and I am glad to live in a society where there is a presumption of innocence," Shankar said in an email to NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "I look forward to my day in court and in the meantime ask that you might respect me and my family's privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

Shankar was the subject of controversy when he was promoted to full-time status at CCSU while booked into jail in May 2014. At the time, he was waiting to face charges from an arrest in 2012.

He was arrested again in December 2014 after crashing his car while driving with a suspended license, according to police. Shankar was charged with several motor vehicle violations and has pleaded not guilty.

Shankar remains listed as an associate professor of English on the CCSU website. School officials said Wednesday they were aware of Shankar's latest arrest and declined to comment.

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