JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office sergeant was under internal investigation after allegedly selling some of his JSO-branded merchandise on the internet.
An internal affairs investigation determined the sergeant sold three items on eBay that were issued to him as part of his uniform gear.
Recently, JSO sergeant Richard Vercruyssee, was under investigation by internal affairs after allegedly posting and selling a JSO badge wallet, a leather duty belt and a magazine holder on eBay.
Although internal affairs documents showed he could have been charged with petty theft, which is a second degree misdemeanor, the state attorney said he will not be prosecuted.
Law and safety expert Dale Carson said he wasn’t surprised about the decision.
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“Typically when the state attorney’s office prosecutes cases of petty theft which this would fall in that category they are required to demonstrate that the property that was sold or later taken in possession of stolen property, you’d have to show that it actually was the item,” Carson said.
Because each item did not have a serial number it was difficult to prove all of the items were issued by the JSO supply until.
“Prosecuting a case like that becomes problematic because the sheriff’s office can’t show beyond a reasonable doubt that the property actually belong to the sheriff’s office,” Carson said.
However, he said the wallet that had the Jacksonville sheriff’s office emblem on it could be dangerous if it got into the wrong hands.
“The difficulty is when you sell something on eBay or any other; Craigslist, eBay, whatever it is, Amazon there’s a potential that someone would misuse that and that’s a danger for all of us as citizens,” Carson said.
The report also mentioned Vercruysse used his JSO email address for his eBay account. Vercruysse did admit it was a stupid decision to sell those items online. The internal affairs investigation showed he did violate the code of conduct but there will not be criminal prosecution.
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