BARTOW, Fla. — A former evidence custodian for the Bartow Police Department has been arrested for stealing cash from the evidence room.
Stacey Lee Schaufler was terminated from her employment as a result of a policy violation in December of 2018. At that time, Chief Hall ordered an audit and inventory of the evidence room, as standard procedure.
During the course of the audit,detectives identified items of evidence missing, including cash that had been seized by the department.
The resulting criminal investigation revealed that $7,412.73 in cash was stolen from evidence from several different cases.
In some of the empty evidence envelopes, detectives found paper cut in the shape of paper bills. In all, there were a total of 25 case numbers affected with currency, and 19 additional evidence cases tampered with.
In each of the affected cases, only the cash was stolen.
During that same time period, police say Schaufler used the department's database to fabricate locations of evidence. She altered the computer evidence logs to indicate that the stolen items were transferred to the rightful owner, the state crime lab or destroyed pursuant to court order, in an effort to conceal her actions.
Schaufler is charged with computer crime to defraud/obtain property, destroy/tampering with/fabricate physical evidence, and grand theft over $5,000.