Jail booking officer accused of stealing from inmate

Stuart Shane Dietz

A Curry County jail booking officer is accused of stealing $500 from an inmate.

Stuart Shane Dietz, 41, of Clovis, was arrested Wednesday by sheriff's deputies and charged with misdemeanor larceny, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller.

Dietz is accused of stealing the cash from a Clovis man, who was arrested for driving without a valid license and speeding. State police booked him into the jail July 30.

An investigator said the theft was discovered when the inmate was released the next day.

"On 07-31-2012 (jail administrator Gerry) Billy initiated his investigation but was unable to reconcile the differences in cash amounts," sheriff's investigator Sandy Loomis wrote in the arrest affidavit.

Dietz, who was released from jail after posting $1,500 bond, could not be reached for comment.

Billy said the sheriff's office was notified of the theft on Aug. 3, three days after it was discovered.

It is the same day District Atorney Matt Chandler sent an email to Billy, asking if he planned on notifying the sheriff's office or any other law enforcement agency to investigate allegations of theft.

Waller said sheriff's officials received an unmarked package containing the information on the crime on Aug. 6.

Loomis began his investigation on Aug. 8 and, according to the affidavit, learned:

  • State police Lt. Cleo Baker arrested a man and took him to the jail, advising jail staff that he had $1,500 in $100 bills in his wallet.
  • Prior to taking the man to jail, Baker counted out the money twice in front of the prisoner and another state police officer.
  • A jail booking officer accepted the cash without counting it and placed it in the drawer of an intake desk being manned by Dietz, who initially also failed to count the cash.
  • After several trips outside for smoking breaks, Dietz finished booking paperwork on the inmate and he and another jail officer counted only $1,000 cash.
  • Prior to counting the cash, surveillance video captured Dietz handling the wallet three times during a two-hour period, finally dropping it on the floor and going through it.

Loomis said Dietz agreed to take a polygraph or lie detector test but refused to go through with it when they met Aug. 17 to conduct it at the Clovis Police Department.

"Dietz would not explain why he would not submit to a polygraph exam and said only that he did not like the reference to theft and larceny and that he had other information about the case that he would not disclose," Loomis wrote in the affidavit.

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