Pines Cop Accused Of Stealing Pricey Watch After Jewelry Store Heist
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South Florida Crime
PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Security cameras at a Pembroke Pines jewelry store captured not one but two burglaries this week, the second one caught a police officer stealing a expensive watch during the investigation of the first burglary, according to police.
During the investigation of a burglary at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry at 11077 Pines Boulevard, the Pembroke Pines Police Department learned that Officer Kevin Burgs, 36, took a movado watch valued at $795.00 from the store, according to new arrest affidavit from the department.
The reported theft was captured by two of the store’s surveillance video cameras. The report says a store employe who was reviewing footage from the burglary spotted the officer stealing the watch.
Burg’s arrest report states that detectives discovered the stolen watch inside the officer’s police vehicle. The report said the store wants to prosecute the officer.
Pembroke Pines Police Captain Carlos Bermudez told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that he did not know if that suirveillance tape would be released.
“That will be up to the Broward State Attorney’s Office and prosecutors will have to review that tape,” said Bermudez.
That surveillance tape will be part of the internal affairs investigation of Burgs.
Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis told D’Oench that he could not comment yet about this case.
“It’s just too early in the investigation for me to say anything right now,” said Ortiz.
“That’s crazy, like isn’t it serve and protect,” said Pembroke Pines resident Penelope Garcia. “What was he thinking?”
Burgs was arrested Thursday morning and charged with Grand Theft. Bond was set at $1,000. After posting bail, he was released.
D’Oench stopped at Burgs’ home in Davie to try to speak with the officer. But no one came to the door when he knocked.
“He blew his whole reputation, his whole career, for a watch, a piece of jewelry, that’s ridiculous, why would you even chance that,” wondered Darcee Mixon, an employee of Second Cup coffee shop near the jewelry store. “That’s insane. Cops come in here all the time, you expect them to be above and beyond all of that, so for them to stoop to such a small level, it’s really, I can’t imagine.”
Burgs, a nine year veteran of the Pembroke Pines Police Department, has been placed on suspension with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to have an officer of the law be so irresponsible or maybe it’s a hint to the government to pay your officers more,” said Garcia.
Police were called to the store Wednesday morning after a couple of cat burglars broke into the store overnight and got away with $75-thousand worth of jewelry.
The two burglars got into the store by cutting a hole in the roof. Once inside, they smashed the glass cases and grabbed the high-priced goods.
A roofer who patched the hole said this was not a haphazard job.
”They had to bring a battery powered saw up there. They knew there was going to be corrugated metal, they knew how to cut it, like they cut it perfectly square,” explained roofer William Natale.
Police said the crooks were dressed in all black and wore masks. In surveillance video taken inside the store during the crime, one burglar can be seen using what appears to be a pick ax to smash the glass cases.
Below is the surveillance video of the burglary in progress:
The jewel thieves stuffed all the loot into a back pack, placed a step stool on a counter and pulled themselves up through the hole in the ceiling in order to make their escape by leaving the same way they came in.
In addition to the theft of $75-thousand worth of merchandise, the burglars left behind $10-thousand in damage to the glass cases and the roof.
Last month, there was a similar type of burglary at the Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation. Two men cut a hole in the roof to break into the Gordon’s Jewelers store. Surveillance video shows them descending into the store using a rope. Once inside they stole more than $100,000 in merchandise in about 20 minutes. They then exited through the roof.
Police have not said if they suspect the two burglaries were related.