ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Anderson County Sheriff's Office secretary has been terminated after authorities say she stole money from the Crime Stopper tipsters fund.
Terry Raybin is charged with misuse of official information.
According to Sheriff Greg Taylor, the Palestine Police Department began investigating a complaint in reference to missing Crime Stopper money. He said when a tipster tried to pick up their reward, the money had already been collected. That prompted authorities to investigate, and Taylor said the investigation led straight to his secretary.
Raybin reportedly told authorities she took the money to help out a family member. Taylor said she was an employee for 15 years, and he thought of her as family.
"We still do, but she can't work here anymore because of the decision she made," said Taylor. He added that during her employment she was very kind and sweet hearted.
Taylor said his office has made changes to the procedures of the tip pay information to ensure this doesn't happen again.
The following was released by the Palestine Police Department:
The Palestine Police Department received information regarding possible theft from funds derived from Crime Stoppers.
An investigation was opened after a subject reported that he had provided a tip to crime stoppers and was told he would be paid. When this subject went to pick up the reward he was told that someone had already picked up the money.
The investigation lead police detectives to the bank where they were able to obtain information that lead them to Terry Raybin, an employee of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office. Evidence was obtained that indicated that Mrs. Raybin was involved in the offense.
Mrs. Raybin was able to obtain information on the tips that were to be paid out due to her position at the ACSO which allowed her access to the crime stoppers information.
There is no indication that any other persons at the ACSO were involved in this incident or that any other employees had knowledge of the incident. The investigation is ongoing and will be submitted to the district attorney's office for disposition upon completion of said investigation.
Any person that thinks that they were defrauded in a similar manner should call Detective James Muniz at 903-731-8479 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone calling may remain anonymous but should be able to provide sufficient information that they were also a victim.
Interested persons may also contact detectives by using the crime reporting form at the City of Palestine web address at www.cityofpalestinetx.com and click on the forms and documents tab on the left side of the page. Locate the report a crime form and fill in the blanks.