St. Petersburg, FL - According to a news report posted on tampabay.com a St. Petersburg police officer was fired and then arrested last Wednesday when law enforcement authorities stated that he attempted to use a Texas woman's credit card information to make purchases totaling hundreds of dollars at a Walmart store. According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, the 25-year-old suspect was sworn in as a Tampa police officer back in August. The man was placed on unpaid leave this week after Pinellas Park Police Department detective contacted the St. Petersburg police stating the man was being investigated for fraud.
The suspect then turned himself into the Pinellas County Jail last Wednesday night, and he was arrested on one count of felony scheming to defraud. The law enforcement officer was fired by the St. Petersburg Police. According to the report, since the former law enforcement officer was on probation, the St. Petersburg Police Department did not have to conduct an internal investigation or conduct a hearing to fire the officer.
According to Chief Anthony Holloway's email statement to tampabay.com, The former officer no longer head the trust of the public or the St. Petersburg Police Department; therefore, he needed to be terminated.
Pinellas Park police state that the suspects attempted to make purchases by using the woman's Walmart app account once he obtained her username and password from somebody that the officer met online. On February 11, 2021, please state that the suspect placed an order for $243.11 through the woman's account for pick up at the Walmart that's located at 201 34th Street N in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to the victim, she was alerted about the order. No other details in the arrest report were given about how the officer use the app or credit card or have a woman receive the alert. According to the news report, the order was canceled prior to the suspect picking up the order.
According to the Pinellas Park Police, The former law enforcement officer attempted to access the woman's account and place another order at a Walmart located at 8001 US 19 N. in Pinellas Park, Florida. The total amount on that charge was $161.87.
The news report states that the suspect then went to Walmart later that afternoon in order to pick up the order. However, the Walmart store was already alerted and canceled the order. Walmart security cameras video recorded the suspect's jeep at the store.
Law enforcement investigators stated that they were able to trace the online purchases back to the suspect's IP address in that the suspect added his first name and last name initial, his personal email address, and his phone number on the victim's online Walmart account.
The suspect was able to bail out of jail on Wednesday night following his posting of a $5,000 bail bond. The suspect would not be reached for comment. So far, the court records do not list an attorney representing the suspect at this time. The suspect's address and other contact information were not listed in his jail records or arrest report due to a new state law that prevents personal information of law enforcement or other types of public employees from public records.
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