DALLAS -- Dallas police have arrested several city employees and acquaintances around North Texas in a major theft ring involving those who maintain city-owned buildings and vehicles.
The department's fugitive unit was sent out Thursday morning to make the arrests.
The Dallas Police Department's Public Integrity Unit is in charge of the criminal investigation and found that the illegal activity took place between Jan. 1 and Aug. 19.
The following people were arrested:
- Michael Golden for tampering with a government record
- Jeffrey Landsbaum for tampering with a government record and criminal trespass
- Alan Ramos for criminal trespass
- Nicholas Smith for criminal trespass
- Brian Mallett for organized criminal activity-theft and tampering with a government record
- Arturo Molinar for organized criminal activity-theft and tampering with a government record
- Hector Botello for organized criminal activity-theft and tampering with a government record
Sources said several employees with Dallas equipment and building services were stealing things like freon and air conditioning equipment then re-selling them at businesses they owned and profiting off the stolen items.
"But at the end of the day, we will not tolerate any of it and wherever we find it, there should be action and there should be immediate action, criminal action if necessary, and sending a signal that this will not be tolerated,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.
Some were allegedly falsifying time cards to reflect overtime hours they never worked.
“That's frustrating but any organization of this size is going to have a bad apple or 2, and you have to have systems in place to weed them out,” said Councilman Phillip Kingston.
Dallas police said the ring had been operating from January 1 of this year until mid-August. The ring also included some former employees.
The investigation began after an audit was done of city departments, sources said.
"This might not be the only area, but this is a signal a very strong signal. Straighten up. We are being looked at and when it is found something will be done about it,” said Caraway.
At this time, police are not saying exactly how much was stolen and what the cost has been to taxpayers, but sources said it was a significant amount and the investigation is ongoing.
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