NewsPolk County


Florida TSA officer accused of faking armed burglary to avoid consequences of being late to work

Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 14:33:21-04

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office said a Tampa Airport TSA officer made a fake burglary report to avoid the consequences of being late to work.

In a press release, the sheriff's office said Taleta Collier, 34, of Winter Haven, made the fake report after she told a supervisor she was late in March because a man armed with a knife tried to burglarize her parents' vehicle. The sheriff's office said Collier was on an employee improvement plan for excessive tardiness at the time.

The release said Collier called the TSA office on March 20 to say she would be late to her shift because of the incident. When she got to work, authorities said she told her supervisor she drew her agency-issued weapon on the suspect and he ran away. She also told the supervisor that she reported the incident to PCSO, the sheriff's office said.

When her supervisor asked for a case number or business card of the investigating detective, authorities said Collier claimed she wasn't provided with either. The sheriff's office said the supervisor then told her to get and provide a copy of the report.

Two weeks later, the sheriff's office said Collier sent a screenshot to her supervisor of a document that "looked similar to a police report." She was then told to provide an actual copy but authorities said she never did.

The supervisor told detectives the screenshot was cut off halfway through the second page and didn't provide an incident description.

Detectives reviewed the screenshot and determined it was an "obvious fake." Collier also used the name and assigned member number of a current PCSO deputy who was out of the country on vacation at the time, authorities said.

Collier was arrested and charged with criminal use of a personal ID and uttering a false document. The sheriff's office said Collier's parents told detectives they had no knowledge of a burglary report and that their vehicle had not been burglarized.

“You can’t make this stuff up. I don’t understand why anyone would go to the extent of creating a fake police report to avoid a reprimand at work for tardiness," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "Collier has violated the trust of her coworkers and the people she was supposed to keep safe.”