Missing Work Leads to Grand Theft – Delray Beach Police Officer Arrested

April 14, 2022 Criminal Defense, Theft/Property Crimes

Lying to your work is never a good idea. This is especially true if it ends up with you landing behind bars. For one Florida police officer, she is now facing the consequences for lying to her department—and facing charges for grand theft.

Jacaria Stringer, 25, is currently an officer with the Delray Beach Police Department. Stringer informed her department that she would be away on military leave for 21 days between March 2020 through August 2021. The reason for going on leave was to attend a specific military training titled, “Battle Assembly Training” with the U.S. Army Reserve.

An investigation began in September 2021 by the FDLE, after there were questions around the accuracy of several timesheets. According to the arrest report, there were at least 21 Delray Beach Police Department timesheets falsified by Stringer. In total, Stringer received a total of $6,553 for the days she claimed to be on military leave.

The investigator from the state was able to get in contact with the Military Police Company administrator and found out that Stringer was marked absent on 15 of the days that she claimed to be at the training. In addition, there were 6 days she marked down where there was no training even available.

Stringer has now turned herself in to the Palm Beach County Jail, and is facing charges for grand theft and official misconduct. Under Florida law, if the alleged stolen property is more than $750, it is considered grand theft

The FDLE posted a tweet with the statement, “Great job, FDLE Miami! FDLE arrests police officer for grand theft.”

In addition to the arrest, Stringer is also undergoing an involuntary separation from the U.S. Army Reserve. Stringer was hired by the Delray Beach Police Department in February 2020 and has now been on paid administrative leave since September 18th, 2021.

The Delray Beach Police Chief, Javaro Sims, gave the following comment regarding his employee’s arrest: “The police department’s internal investigation of Officer Stringer has been tolled pending the outcome of the criminal investigation from the State Attorney’s Office. Once that investigation has concluded, the administrative investigation will proceed.”

Grand Theft in Florida

It’s safe to say there is nothing grand about grand theft. If you steal something of value, there are consequences. Florida has harsh penalties for all types of theft, ranging from petit to grand theft. However, grand theft is even more serious.

Florida Statute Section 812.014(1) defines theft as when a person knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use another person’s property, to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the right to or benefit of that property for his or her use, or for the use of someone else not entitled to the property.

Under the same Florida Statute, the law defines that it is considered a third-degree felony if the property stolen is valued between $750 and $20,000. The  consequences of a third-degree grand theft felony includes a fine up to $5,000, up to 5 years in prison, and up to 5 years of probation.

To find out more about different types of grand theft along with the potential defenses, you can find our blog post here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Grand theft is a very serious charge in the state of Florida. This story highlights that even when someone working for the authorities commits the crime of grand theft, they will face serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been accused of a theft crime, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced theft attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients all across the state of Florida for various charges. They understand the importance of building a strong defense to your case, and will stand in your corner to fight for your freedom. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today to receive a free consultation.

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