TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – When it comes to money and death, the old saying is, “You can’t take it with you.” That may be true, but it doesn’t give someone else the right to take it instead. Cops say that’s exactly what happened when a man came to remove the body of lately-departed Michael Bressler of Tamarac.
Bressler was 53 when he died of natural causes at his Tamarac home January 5th. His family wanted his body taken to Star of David funeral home which, according to police, is owned by Service Corporation International.
That company sent driver Armando Sardina to remove Bressler’s body and take it to the funeral home, but according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Sardina tried to leave with more than Bressler’s body.
As Sardina was preparing Bressler’s body for the trip to the funeral home, family members said a second worker, who was not named by police, was speaking to Bressler’s brother-in-law outside the room where the body was. The brother-in-law became concerned when he saw that the door to the room had been closed, with Sardina inside, and thought the second worker was intentionally distracting him.
When he opened the door, relatives told CBSMiami.com, he saw Sardina getting up in a nervous manner. Sardina then left the house for his vehicle.
Family members expressed concern to a BSO deputy who was investigating the circumstances of the death. When a deputy got permission to search Sardina’s van, he found $347 in cash buried between the seats. The money was apparently taken from a bank bag in the room where Bressler’s body was lying.
BSO said Sardina admitted the theft and apologized, but he was arrested and charged with grand theft. No action was taken in the case of the assistant.
Investigators are concerned that this may not be the first time Sardina left with more than just a a body, and are asking for anyone with concerns they might have been also victimized by Sardina to come forward.