Ex-evidence tech accused of stealing $100,000+

Posted at 5:25 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 04:15:45-05

A former Riviera Beach evidence tech is under arrest after being accused of stealing more than $100,000 from 189 police evidence bags.

Claudia Hutchinson was a 20-year employee until sheresigned last summer when the accusations first surfaced.

“The cases they were related to were mostly drug kinds of cases, and we don't need that evidence per se to move forward with many of the prosecutorial efforts in those cases,” Riviera Beach Police Chief Clarence Williams said.

Some of the money was recovered, but police did not say how much.

The chief says the evidence theft likely went on for about 6 months in 2014 because an annual audit at the start of the year revealed no problems. Williams says the department is now doing quarterly audits and has made security and tech changes to prevent this kind of problem in the future.

Hutchinson faces charges of larceny and tampering, fabricating or destroying evidence.

She has bonded out of the Palm Beach County Jail.