LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - An Orange County sheriff's deputy has been relieved of duty after he was arrested on allegations of stealing from Walt Disney World guests.
Deputy Kirk Smurawa, 40, who's been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office since 2002 and is a former Marine, was arrested Tuesday and charged with armed burglary of a conveyance and petit theft of $100 or more. He bonded out of jail Wednesday night.
"We got information and that caused him to come into suspicion," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. "As a result, we did our own surveillance and were able to make an arrest in that case."
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Smurawa, who was on duty, took a purse from a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country rental vehicle that was parked at Hollywood Studios.
A deputy working surveillance witnessed the theft and said Smurawa returned to his patrol car, took some cash inside, then tossed the purse under the van, according to the Sheriff's Office. Smurawa then drove off, deputies said.
He was later arrested, and investigators said he admitted to taking the purse, valued at $75, and $55 in cash from children's wallets that were in the purse.
The victims said they had locked the van after exiting it, according to deputies.
The incident was captured on video, but it's not being released until an investigation concludes. Officials said Smurawa was wearing his uniform when he approached the car.
Smurawa was assigned to the Orange County Sheriff Sector Six patrol. He has been relieved of duty without pay, and his law enforcement credentials have been revoked pending an administrative review.
Burglary is a third-degree felony punishable up to five years. But since Smurawa had his gun on him, he was arrested on a charge of armed burglary, a first-degree felony that carries a maximum punishment of 30 years.
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