Bartow Police Department Press Release
On 03/05/2019, detectives with the Bartow Police Department arrested Stacey Lee Schaufler of Eagle Lake, Florida on charges stemming from her employment at the police department. Schaufler was arrested and charged with:
Computer Crime to Defraud/Obtain Property 1 Count
Destroy/Tampering with/Fabricate Physical Evidence 1 Count
Grand Theft over $5000.00 1 Count
Schaufler was booked at the Polk County Jail.
Schaufler was employed by the Bartow Police Department as the Evidence Custodian. In December 2018, she was terminated from her employment as a result of a policy violation. Subsequent to her termination, Chief Hall ordered an audit and inventory of the evidence room, as standard procedure. The audit and inventory has been ongoing since that time. During the course of the audit in inventory, 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. No other items were stolen, or unaccounted for in the audit.
During this same time period, Schaufler used the department’s database to fabricate locations of evidence. Schaufler 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.