WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) When a law enforcement officer is ill, his brothers and sisters with a badge are usually there to support him, but for one Palm Beach Sheriff’s officer, investigators say the illness of a fellow officer was an opportunity to rob the deputy as he lay near death from cancer.
PBSO Lieutenant Daniel Burrows, a 17-year veteran of the department and a former commander of the SWAT team, was arrested and charged January 26th with stealing a gun and drugs used to ease a dying man’s pain while he was making a home visit to PBSO Mike Collister. The deputy was near death, suffering from a long fight with cancer.
He lost that battle January 10th.
PBSO said while visiting Collister on New Years Eve, while Collister’s wife was not home, Lt. Burrows forced Collister to open his safe, where he stored his gun and narcotic pain pills, so he could take Collister’s weapons and painkillers. According to the arrest report, a relative in the home said Burrows woke Collister up and at one point, had the dying man in tears. The relative said even though Burrows told him not to follow them, he watched from a windows as the two men enter the safe, which was in the garage, and take guns out.
Investigators said when Collister’s wife returned, she confronted Burrows, who admitted taking a gun, which re returned. After Burrows left, she found a second 30-06 rifle and about 94 Oxycodone pills missing. She contacted PBSO, which placed Burrows on leave and started an investigation, which led to Thursday’s arrest.
The pills had been placed in the safe, according to the arrest form, because some pills had been noticed missing from Collister’s nightstand after a previous visit from Burrows, and Collister’s wife suspected Burrows had stolen the pills.
During the investigation, according to the arrest report, a witness said Burrows had asked him to drive Burrows to a drug rehabilitation center, and during the trip, admitted he had suffered an 8-year adiction to prescription drugs, and told the witnesssthat he had stolen a “handful” of drugs from Collister’s supply.
Burrows has been charged with grand theft of a firearm, possession of narcotics, exploitation of a disabled person, and theft.