PCSO theft investigation leads to arrest of Florida Department of Corrections Employee
On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, deputies arrested 33-year-old Diego Calderon of Lakeland, who works for the Florida Department of Corrections (Corrections Officer at the Hardee Correctional Institution), for one count grand theft (F3), one count tampering with physical evidence (F3), and one count of giving false information to a law enforcement officer during an investigation (M1).
According to the affidavit, deputies responded to a call at Home Depot located at 6335 S. Florida Avenue in Lakeland, regarding a theft of multiple items that occurred on April 1, 2017.
Through their investigation, deputies determined that 22-year-old Dariana Garcia-Munoz of Lakeland worked as an employee for the south Lakeland Home Depot store. Garcia-Munoz checked out Monica Echeverry (Calderon’s wife) at her cash register. During the transaction, Garcia-Munoz rang up approximately $565.75 worth of merchandise and then deleted most of the transactions off the register, which changed the total to $15.59. There was also a pressure washer, valued at $150 that Garcia-Munoz never rang up, but allowed Echeverry to leave the store with. Echeverry paid $15.59 and left the store.
Detectives questioned all those involved and subsequently arrested Echeverry, Garcia-Munoz, Calderon, and 31-year-old Jose Santiago, who resides with Garcia-Munoz.
Here is an excerpt from Calderon’s probable cause affidavit, and it is self-explanatory:
On 4/11/2017, D/S Maclean and D/S Roman responded to Monica and Diego Alejandro Calderon’s residence in Lakeland in an attempt to locate the remaining stolen property.
While on scene, law enforcement spoke to Calderon in an attempt to locate the outstanding stolen items. Calderon completed a consent to search form and allowed law enforcement to search the residence for the stolen items. No stolen items were located. Calderon was provided a description of the stolen items but stated he did not know where the items were. During the search, Calderon was requested to allow law enforcement to examine the contents of his truck. Calderon agreed and opened his truck and the outstanding property was located in the trunk.
Calderon did knowingly conceal the one adhesive spreader, one gallon of liquid adhesive, four boxes of vinyl flooring, and one ceiling fan in the trunk of his car from law enforcement. Calderon attempted to misdirect law enforcement by concealing these items in the car.
Calderon knowingly and willfully gave false information to law enforcement during this affiant’s investigation. These actions were intentional and occurred during the investigation of multiple felonies.
Calderon did knowingly and intentionally temporarily derive Home Depot the benefit or use of some of the items relating to the April 1, 2017 theft from Home Depot.
Throughout the investigation, detectives discovered there had been two other thefts that occurred during Munoz’s employment.
“Retail theft continues to be a significant problem in Florida. If someone steals from a store in Polk County, and we catch them, they are going to get a free ride to jail in the back of one of our patrol cars. But that’s the only thing they will get for free.” Grady Judd, Sheriff
Diego Calderon was taken into custody on the aforementioned charges on Tuesday, April 11, and booked into the Polk County Jail. He bonded out after posting a $2,500 bond.
The three other suspects arrested during this investigation were:
Monica Echeverry (DOB 08-25-1979):
Dariana Garcia-Munoz (DOB 10/17/1994):
Jose Santiago (DOB 02/10/1986):