Crime

Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office worker charged with stealing 53 checks worth more than $30k

David Santana, 24, who works in the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office, was charged Tuesday with stealing 53 checks worth more than $30,000 and depositing them into personal bank accounts.
David Santana, 24, who works in the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office, was charged Tuesday with stealing 53 checks worth more than $30,000 and depositing them into personal bank accounts. Miami-Dade Corrections

If prosecutors are to be believed, David Santana isn’t the smartest of thieves.

His work at the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office as a court records specialist gave him easy access to checks that residents sent in to pay for public records, like marriage licenses or mortgages, which were to be recorded.

So, according to investigators, when no one was looking, Santana, 24, stole more than four dozen of them. Then he signed a name on the back of the checks and deposited them into seven accounts under other people’s names.

Some of those accounts belonged to his girlfriend. The rest belonged to a friend of Santana’s, police said. Total haul: $30,320.

As for those 53 documents that were mailed to the clerk’s office with the checks, detectives said Santana deposited them into a recycling bin in the clerk’s office to be destroyed.

It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday what led police to Santana. It could have been cameras in and around the clerk’s office, or his association with the two people whose bank accounts police say were used in the scheme.

Either way, police found Santana at his Coral Springs home just after sunrise Tuesday and he put up no fight when taken into custody. He was charged with one count of official misconduct and second-degree grand theft and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he remained Tuesday evening.

Chuck Rabin, writing news stories for the Miami Herald for the past three decades, covers cops and crime. Before that he covered the halls of government for Miami-Dade and the city of Miami. He’s covered hurricanes, the 2000 presidential election and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting. On a random note: Long before those assignments, Chuck was pepper-sprayed covering the disturbances in Miami the morning Elián Gonzalez was whisked away by federal authorities.
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