PINELLAS PARK — Police arrested a city employee last week and took him away from his boss' office in handcuffs.
Arrested and charged with grand theft, a felony, was Timothy J. Dineen, 44, of Pinellas Park. Dineen, a utilities technician in Pinellas Park's sewer department, is accused of stealing scrap copper from the city. He also lost his job when arrested Wednesday. He had worked for Pinellas Park since Jan. 26, 2000, and was earning about $33,622 a year when terminated.
Also arrested was his wife, Stephanie Elaine Dineen, 39. She was accused of selling the scrap metal that police say her husband took from the city. She is charged with dealing in stolen property, also a felony.
Both were being held in the Pinellas County Jail.
Pinellas Park police spokesman Sgt. Sandy Forseth said it happened this way:
The city retains old water meters and other metals that it sells. At least one co-worker saw Timothy Dineen poking around the area where the scrap metals are kept, although he had no reason to be there. Another co-worker reported seeing copper in the back of his city truck in the late afternoon that was gone the next morning.
The two went to Keith Sabiel, the assistant public works administrator, with their suspicions, Forseth said. Sabiel reported the situation to police.
"He admitted to stealing the metal and it being sold at Trademark Metals by his wife," Forseth said.
Forseth said officers also interviewed Stephanie Dineen, who admitted selling the metal, but at first denied she had gotten it from her husband. But after she was told he had confessed, she also confessed, Forseth said.
Records at Trademark Metals Recycling indicated that Stephanie Dineen had sold copper to the company five times in February for a total of $666.
Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Timothy Dineen has been found guilty twice on bad check charges. He received suspended sentences.
Stephanie Dineen has also been found guilty of worthless check charges, FDLE records show. She also received suspended sentences.
Anne Lindberg can be reached at (727) 893-8450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.