A sheriff’s deputy in Florida, who was arrested after getting caught on video stealing from a deceased man’s home, reportedly resigned Wednesday night.
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Cooke quit his position in the department after being charged with burglary and grand theft with a firearm and spending 30 days in a drug rehabilitation facility, WPEC reported.
Cooke was caught on home surveillance video lurking around the home of Moe Rosoff, an 85-year-old man who had injured himself during a blackout in Hurricane Irma, and later died at a hospital.
Rosoff’s family said they asked authorities on Sept. 12 to do a welfare check on their father, who was braving the storm alone. Three deputies found the elderly man on the floor of his home and brought him to the hospital before he eventually died.
They alleged that the deputy learned how to access the home from communications on his patrol radio and later ransacked their father’s house, stealing money, jewelry and medication.
Unbeknownst to the suspect, surveillance cameras at the house turned on when he entered. The family later saw the video and turned it over to the police on Sept. 20.
Following Cooke’s eventual admittance of the crime, he was allowed to enter a drug rehab program before he was arrested, leading the family to believe he received special treatment through his connections on the force.
They also argued that he “posed a significant threat to the public’s safety” because an investigation of his patrol car produced several types of medication, including some that the family said their father did not take and suggested that this was possibly not the first crime he’d committed.
“In our opinion, had we not had this video, this cop would still be out there posing a threat of danger to the community he swore to protect and committing more crimes,” the family said in a statement. “It is our hope that the justice system treats this cop like any other criminal out there and that he doesn't receive further preferential treatment because he is a police officer.”
The sheriff’s office responded to the charges saying, “Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct.”
As of Tuesday, Cooke had been placed on paid administrative leave.