A Winter Haven Police Officer has been arrested and charged with Grand Theft and Property Obtained By Communications Fraud (valued more than $10,000).
Twenty-eight year-old Antonio Arias had been on paid administrative leave since March 22, 2022 when a criminal investigation was initiated following information obtained regarding special detail pay Arias received for off-duty details that he did not complete. Arias was taken into custody today (May 25, 2022) at the Winter Haven Police Department where he responded following the conclusion of the investigation.
Below are the circumstances leading to the investigation.
On March 17, 2022, supervision discovered that Officer Arias did not appear to be at his assigned detail as he reported. It was discovered through technology that his location was not at the assigned detail. A Support Captain requested an investigation to determine if Officer Arias was fraudulently reporting time worked for off duty details. On March 22, 2022, a criminal investigation was initiated and Officer Arias was placed on paid administrative relief from duty.
The investigation revealed that Officer Arias had fraudulently reported a total of 387.5 hours, where he claimed to have worked an entire detail but had only worked a portion or none at all. The majority of these hours were Officer Arias leaving his assigned detail to other parts of the City of Winter Haven or just outside the City but claiming to be on site working the entire detail.
Officer Arias was called into the police department on May 25, 2022 and subsequently taken into custody. He was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending disciplinary process.
Antonio Arias was hired as a police officer August 31, 2020 and during his employment, had one written reprimand issued 1/21/2022. He was issued this reprimand when he attempted to take a call for service over the phone; however, the type of call warranted an in person response and later had to be handled by another officer.
A mugshot was not immediately available.