BRADENTON (FOX 13) - A husband and wife turned themselves in after police say they spent five years stealing money from seizures conducted by Bradenton police.
Investigators said it took almost a year to collect all the evidence needed to bring charges against retired BPD employees, Jake and Cynthia Zaagman. The pair turned themselves in to the Manatee County Jail Wednesday.
The Bradenton Police Department said Jake worked as a supervisor over BPD's records management system and property and evidence sections from 1983 until he retired in 2015. Cynthia, meanwhile, worked in BPD's administrative services and budget sections from 1983 until she retired in 2016.
BPD investigators believe the Zaagmans stole money from seizure and forfeiture funds, which Jake managed and Cynthia audited, from 2011 until 2015. BPD conducted an audit, after Cynthia retired in 2016, of more than 30,000 items stored as evidence.
BPD said they discovered Jake Zaagman took money from seized funds before making deposits to the department's bank account. Police investigators say Cynthia would then cover up the theft my manipulating the records.
The pair face felony scheming to defraud charges and the investigation is ongoing. Bradenton police said anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact Assistant Chief Paul Mcwade at 941-932-9349, or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous tip through the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com.
The Bradenton Police Department said no property, evidence, or currency belonging to any outside person or entity was stolen and the alleged crimes did not impact or compromise any criminal investigation or evidence held by BPD, past or present.