BSO lieutenant charged with purse theft

Veteran lieutenant allegedly stole money from woman's purse at casino

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - It began as a routine call at the Isle of Capri casino in Pompano Beach, but when Broward Sheriff's deputies located the suspect in a purse theft there Sunday evening, they knew it was no average case.

Deputies recognized the man, and realized he was someone who worked with BSO.

The man charged in the theft, Lt. Donald Gilbert, is a 26-year BSO veteran who makes $90,000 a year working in the jail.

"It tarnishes the badge, not just for BSO but for law enforcement in general," said BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion. "The public expects more from us."

Gilbert was off-duty at the casino playing the slots when the alleged female victim complained that her purse -- containing $270 in cash -- was missing. A look at surveillance video provided the answer.

"According to his arrest report, Gilbert admitted picking up the purse but said he threw it in the garbage can and took no money.

Deputies found the purse in the trash.

"Upon searching the purse, everything was found except for the cash that the woman had inside," Concepcion said.

Deputies then found that Gilbert had the exact same amount of cash on him as what was reported to be in the purse.

Gilbert told investigators that as a BSO lieutenant he'd never steal money, and that he'd just gotten lucky on the slots.

His colleagues, however, didn't believe him and booked him into the same jail he helped run, on a petit theft misdemeanor charge.

"We're here to arrest people who commit crimes, even if it turns out to be a BSO deputy," Concepcion said. "This man committed a crime and he was arrested for it."

With the criminal case pending and an internal investigation under way, Gilbert has been suspended with pay.

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