WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - West Palm Beach city employee Arnold Doman decided he needed to pawn some items to make some cash, police said.
His first problem was that those items weren't his. They belonged to his employer.
His second problem? A concerned citizen was watching him as he hocked the items at an Okeechobee Boulevard pawn shop in April, according to an arrest report.
The citizen thought it suspicious that somebody driving a city truck would stop off at a pawn shop to sell mechanical equipment, police said.
The anonymous tipster reported the incident on May 2 to the Office of the Inspector General of Palm Beach County .
West Palm Beach cops began investigating.
At the time, Doman was employed as a maintenance worker with the city's Water Utilities Department.
A detective searched pawn databases, finding that Doman, 50, of Wellington , had pawned numerous electronics, jewelry and tools at local pawnshops since the beginning of the year.
On Jan. 11, Doman pawned a an electrical multitester at the Queen of Pawns store on Okeechobee Blvd. on January 11, for $300, police said.
On Jan. 28, it was a hammer drill at the Cash America Pawn on Okeechobee Boulevard for $40.
On April 28, it was a compressor, hammer drill and trash pump for $220.
Between May 17 and July 6, he pawned two cordless drills, a ratchet, a pump and lifting straps, three saw blades, and a concrete saw for a total of $765.
On Aug. 16, police interviewed Doman, who admitted to pawning five of the items.
Those items belonged to the city of West Palm Beach, police said.
Police said that in each of the transactions, Doman was required to sign off that he was the rightful owner, that the items hadn't been stolen and that he had the right to pawn them off.
Doman was arrested and charged with one count of grand theft, five counts of dealing in stolen property, and five counts of false verification of ownership of pawned items.
He was released on an $11,000 bond.
He was also fired from his job.
Doman's arrest has prompted the Palm Beach County Office of the Inspector General to urge the city to tighten up its tracking of city-owned equipment.
In a memorandum of corrective action dated Monday, Inspector General Sheryl G. Steckler urged West Palm Beach city administrator Ed Mitchell to implement a tracking system that would better monitor the usage of mechanical equipment by city workers.
According to the memorandum, log sheets were never used to monitor equipment usage, equipment inventories were only conducted once a year but just for items valued over $1,000, and that some equipment was stored in city utility vehicles because there weren't any central storage facilities.