A Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after allegedly stealing an inmate’s debit card and using it at a local business, Sheriff Jeff Easter said Friday.
Following an internal investigation, Easter said, the deputy was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail – where he works as a detention deputy – on Thursday night. He was then released on his own recognizance. Easter did not identify the deputy.
The investigation was launched after an inmate, who had been transferred from the jail to the work-release center at Harry and McLean Boulevard late last month, reported to a supervisor four days later that his jail-issued debit card was missing, Easter said. When inmates are booked into the jail, their personal property – including any cash – is held.
The money is held in an account, then returned to the inmates as a debit card upon their release, Easter said. Any purchases made from the jail commissary are deducted from whatever amount the inmate has on his account.
The inmate reported the missing card Aug. 26, Easter said. The supervisor began looking into the case in an attempt to determine whether the card was lost or stolen. He discovered the card was used Aug. 23, about eight hours after the inmate was released from the jail to the work-release facility.
The card was used at a local business, Easter said, and security video showed the suspect using the card. He was the deputy in charge of checking out the inmate’s property to him. The stolen card had $50 on it, Easter said.
The arrested man has been a deputy for more than six years, Easter said. Documents show the suspect’s name is Robert Shinkle, a detention deputy since 2007.
He is the fourth deputy arrested on suspicion of criminal activity since Easter took office late last year.
“It’s very frustrating,” Easter said. “I don’t get it. We’re sworn to uphold the law, not break the law.”
This is the first case of debit card theft that he knows of in the jail, Easter said, but investigators will be reviewing procedures and checking to see whether more cases surface.
The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether charges will be filed, Easter said.