A veteran lieutenant from the Broward Sheriff’s Office has been suspended with pay after he was arrested and charged with petit theft.
The lieutenant was at a casino when a woman reported that her purse had been stolen.
When casino security staff checked the surveillance video, they saw the BSO lieutenant - having visited the casino while off-duty - taking the purse.
The lieutenant was found with $270 on his person. That was the exact amount the woman alleged had been in her purse.
The purse was later found in a trash can.
The lieutenant told police and casino staff that he did not take the woman’s purse, however there was enough evidence to arrest.
Since the amount in question was $270 in cash, the lieutenant was charged with one count of petit theft. If the value of the item taken is under $300, the charge is petit theft whereas anything over would be grand theft.
The exact charge is petit theft in the first-degree since the value of the property is $100-$300. Under $100 and the crime is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. Since the amount was $270, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
The lieutenant is presumed innocent of this charge but has been suspended pending the outcome of the case.
Eric Matheny is a Miami petit theft attorney and Broward petit theft attorney.