Sheriff's Office employee resigns after being accused of theft

LARGO — A Pinellas Sheriff's Office employee resigned last month amid allegations that she snatched a 24-karat bracelet from the security entrance of the Pinellas County Justice Center, according to internal affairs records.

On Feb. 7, criminal justice specialist Bridget Kolodziej was working near the X-Ray machine when she noticed a bracelet on top of it and placed the jewelry in her pocket. When other employees realized it was missing, they began searching for it in front of Kolodziej, who did not tell them she had the bracelet, according to records.

But video surveillance captured Kolodziej as she snatched the jewelry. During a meeting with her supervisors after they watched the video, she admitted to taking the jewelry and turned it in.

The bracelet was returned to its owner.

In an interview with investigators, Kolodziej said she took the bracelet because she thought it belonged to her, adding she owns similar pieces of jewelry.

"I felt awful," she told investigators. "I would never have kept anything that wasn't mine ever because I'm not that person."

Kolodziej, 39, was hired at the Sheriff's Office in December 2012 and was in the process of becoming a detention deputy, records show.

She could not be reached for comment Monday.

Contact Laura C. Morel at lmorel@tampabay.com or (727)445-4157. On Twitter: @lauracmorel.

Sheriff's Office employee resigns after being accused of theft 06/16/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2014 4:37pm]

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