When your business is hit by burglars to the tune of $75,000, and you call the police to investigate, generally speaking, you expect them to do their best to find the thieves and maybe even get your stolen merchandise back.
You don’t expect them to add another $800 to your losses.
But that is exactly what Pembroke Pines, Florida, police say that a member of their own department did when he was called to check out a burglary at a local jewelry store on February 5. And they say they’ve got the officer caught on tape committing burglary, while investigating the burglary.
The officer, whose name oddly enough is Burgs, has entered a not guilty plea to a charge of grand theft. But Kevin Burgs is now suspended without pay and in due in court on July 17. He has been free on $1,000 bond since the day after the incident.
Early in the morning of February 5, the thieves got into Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry through the ceiling, at 11077 Pines Boulevard in the city of just under 155,000. Burgs was among several Pembroke Pines police officers who responded to the call.
The earlier burglary was of the smash and grab variety, so glass cases were broken and merchandise was exposed when police got there.
The surveillance video taken that morning shows Burg, investigators say, walking around the store carrying a ladder. Burgs had earlier set down his rifle to pick up the ladder. But when he was finished, he is seen on the tape putting the ladder down, picking up his gun — and snatching an expensive watch at the same time.
Investigators later found the pricey timepiece inside Burg’s police car.
Trust is vital to our partnership with the community. It is important to note that we held this officer accountable for his actions and charged him appropriately,” the Pembroke Pines department said in a statement. “This one act is not representative of the rest of our department.”
But the public wasn’t entirely convinced.
“That’s disturbing, he’s a cop,” said shopper Tiny Bechtel, interviewed by TV station WSVN. “He’s supposed to do the right thing.”
“You can’t trust people these days,” said another female shopper, to the TV station.