Glorievette Garcia, an Orlando, Florida police officer, was fired on Friday after she allegedly stole two bottles of wine from a convenience store while under the influence of alcohol and pain medication. It is not clear whether Garcia, 29, is facing charges relating to the incident, nor is it clear whether she has retained a private criminal defense attorney. She has served on the Orlando police force for four and a half years prior to her release.
According to reports, the theft occurred on February 6 just after 2:00 a.m. at a Hess gas station on Lee Vista Boulevard in Orlando where Garcia regularly shops. The incident reportedly started because of an Orlando city ordinance forbidding the sale of alcohol after 2:00 in the morning. Garcia reportedly attempted to purchase the wine, priced at $7.99 a bottle, from the store clerk, but since it was just past 2:00 a.m., the clerk refused to make the sale. Garcia then allegedly left the store with the wine despite not having paid for it.
The incident was reportedly caught on surveillance camera, and after reviewing the footage, another Hess employee who was familiar with Garcia was able to identify her. Garcia was not in her police uniform or on duty at the time of the incident, but the employee was apparently aware of the fact that Garcia was a police officer. The employee reportedly mentioned the incident to another police officer who was making a purchase at the gas station the next day. The officer then told his superiors about the incident, and an investigation was launched.
When questioned, Garcia admitted to the incident, according to investigators. She told authorities that she had actually attempted to return to the store to make amends 45 minutes after the theft, but was not granted entry because she had taken the wine. However, she reportedly returned to the store the day after, paid for the wine and apologized. She informed investigators that she had thought that a friend who she was with had paid for the wine, and that she was inebriated and on pain medication at the time of the incident, which caused her to black out. It is not clear what she was on pain medication for.
Garcia reportedly tried to resign from the police department on Friday following the incident, but the department insisted on firing her instead. “I have no tolerance for theft,” explained the police chief when commenting on the firing. He explained that Garcia was already on desk duty and suspension without pay for allegedly getting into a fight outside of a bar in Sarasota County. The specifics of the bar fight incident are not immediately available.
Misconduct by police officers is a fairly common problem in South Florida. Seven Miami police officers, fire fighters and other city officials were just fired after an investigation revealed that they had been accepting bribes from a Miami nightclub in exchange for not performing thorough inspections. During the investigation, FBI agents posing as nightclub workers offered the defendants bribes in exchange for performing botched inspections.