Aventura property manager accused of stealing money from cash vending machine

Donovan Staley, 33, also schemed to defraud owner of Safety Electric, police say

AVENTURA, Fla. – A property manager for a condominium building in Aventura was arrested Tuesday for stealing money from a cash vending machine in a laundry room and for attempting to defraud the owner of Safety Electric, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, the owner was contacted by the Admiral Port's building engineer to repair an emergency electrical situation. 

Police said the owner provided the engineer with an estimate of $12,800 for the work.

Authorities said the building's property manager, Donovan Staley, 33, told the engineer to tell the owner to increase the invoice to $15,800.

The owner complied and when questioning the increase, was told that the money was to be returned to Staley to secure the job.

Days after the invoice was approved, Staley again requested that the owner increase the invoice to $18,800, the arrest report said.

Authorities said the owner was told that the increase was to be returned to Staley.

Staley then submitted the same invoice with the increase and same scope of work as the original invoice for $12,800, the arrest report said.

The owner of the electrical company met with Staley on Tuesday and gave him $6,000 in cash in a Wells Fargo envelope, which was the overcharge amount of the original invoice.

Police said the cash was for the contract and to secure future contracts during a renovation project.

Staley was taken into custody shortly after accepting the money and the cash was found inside his pocket, authorities said.

Police said surveillance video also shows Staley opening a cash vending machine inside the building's laundry room and taking money from it.

He was arrested on charges of organized fraud, grand theft and unlawful use of a communications device.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.