Toll booth workers accused of stealing money

Police say suspects deprived Miami-Dade County of funds

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MIAMI - Four men who worked in a toll booth have been arrested after police say they allegedly stole thousands of dollars in tolls.

Miami-Dade police said Jamal Sheffield, Charles Simmons III, Camilo Felipe and Manuel Jose allegedly stole funds and deprived the county of funds collected.

An investigation began in Feb. 2013 when Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation management noticed a decrease in revenue.

Sheffield was assigned to work a cash base toll booth at Amelia Earhart Park and collect $6 per vehicle.

Police said Sheffield was seen removing currency and placed it inside his pockets on 13 occasions.

Officials estimate Sheffield deprived the county of $1,686.

Police said Simmons, Felipe and Jose also stole funds on multiple occasions. Authorities estimate Simmons pocketed about $1,320.

"I commend our police department for their efforts in this matter, as well as our Parks and Recreation staff for being vigilant and bringing these acts to the attention of law enforcement as soon as they realized that something was amiss," said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

All four men were arrested by police on Wednesday. Sheffield has been charged with grand theft, Simmons is charged with grand theft by employee, and Felipe and Jose have been charged with theft.

"My administration has a zero tolerance policy for public corruption, and I assure our residents that we will continue to find and punish those who attempt to steal from the very public that they are meant to serve," said Gimenez.

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