PORT ST. LUCIE — A correctional officer at the state prison in western Martin County was arrested following accusations he burglarized a neighbor's home — an incident said to have been captured at least in part on video, according to police on Friday.
Thomas Lazarus Gillis, 31, faces burglary and grand theft charges following the Thursday incidents on Southwest Hunnicut Avenue. Police say Gillis is a correctional officer at Martin Correctional Institution in western Martin County.
An officer was flagged down about 8:30 p.m. by the man identified as the victim in the case. The man said he left his home with his family about 5 p.m. and got home about two hours later. He said he typically leaves his garage door partially open and saw it closed when he got back.
"(The man) said that this incident has happened in the past and that it was his neighbor (later identified as Thomas Gillis) who closed it in the past," a report states.
The man said the last time, Gillis told him he closed it so no one would go in his home. The man said he told Gillis not to come on his land again.
The man said he confronted Gillis on Thursday and Gillis said he closed the garage door.
The man said he had a surveillance camera in his living room. When the man reviewed the video, he said he saw Gillis walking out of his bedroom. He looked to be "'stuffing' his pants."
The man checked his room and found $5,000 he'd been saving for home renovations was missing.
Police viewed the video, and saw a man wearing apparent rubber gloves exit a room and go through the living area.
"The male did appear to either be 'stuffing' his pants or adjusting his waistband," the report states.
Gillis eventually said he pried open a rear sliding door to enter the home, but he denied taking the $5,000.
Police searched Gillis' home and found rubber gloves, a screwdriver and other items.
Gillis submitted a written document requesting the sheriff's office not release his booking photo, a sheriff's official said. The written request rule applies to people in certain law enforcement positions, such as current or former law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors, the sheriff's official said.
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