Hernando authorities say Swiftmud employee stole and pawned 23 agency computers

SPRING HILL — A 28-year-old technology specialist for the Southwest Florida Water Management District has been charged with grand theft after he stole and pawned nearly two dozen of the agency's laptop computers, Hernando County authorities say.

Sheriff's deputies stopped Tyler Warren Scotland's silver Chevrolet in Spring Hill about 8 p.m. Wednesday and found a spoon and syringes that tested positive for opiates, according to a news release. Scotland, of Spring Hill, said he used to be addicted to Dilaudid but hadn't used the drug in months. He was arrested and booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

A check of a database showed Scotland had recently made a large number of transactions at area pawn shops. Investigators became suspicious when they found out what he did for a living and on Thursday confirmed that Scotland had stolen and pawned 23 computers from the water management district. Deputies recovered 14 of the computers.

Scotland was charged with 23 counts each of grand theft and dealing in stolen property and 14 counts of defrauding a pawn broker. Already on probation for passing worthless checks, he was being held without bail Friday, records show.

A Swiftmud spokeswoman said Scotland's employment was terminated on Friday.

Hernando authorities say Swiftmud employee stole and pawned 23 agency computers 11/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 4:50pm]

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