A 16-year-veteran of the York County Sheriff’s Office has been charged with stealing hundreds of dollars from the department’s evidence room, according to Sheriff Richard Keuerleber.
Sgt. Troy Senft is accused of taking $760 in cash from the department’s evidence locker. He was arraigned Friday afternoon and charged with theft, destroying evidence, tampering with evidence, obstruction and receiving stolen property, according online to court records. He was released on his own recognizance.
The cash was discovered missing, at first, when the district attorney’s office attempted to retrieve it, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon by the sheriff’s department.
Senft, the release states, told investigators that he took the money.
Keuerleber said he had never encountered such a case in his years in office.
“You take an oath of office,” he said. “You think you’d stand up to that oath.”
The investigation began April 27 when a detective from the district attorney’s office appeared at the sheriff”s department with a court order ordering the forfeiture of $710 that had been placed in the evidence locker on Dec. 18, 2013, according to the release.
When a lieutenant from the sheriff’s office and Senft, who served as the department’s quartermaster, handed the package over to the county detective, it was found that two plastic money bags, expected to contain $710, were empty.
A review of the evidence room, conducted by sheriff’s department as part of its internal investigation, revealed that another $50 was missing, the news release states. That cash had been in the evidence room since January 2015, when a deputy found it on the sidewalk outside the courthouse and, following the department’s procedures, processed it as found property.
The sheriff’s department reported its findings to the district attorney’s office, which conducted its own review of the evidence room, with the same results.
Keuerleber wrote in the news release that his office has completed a full review and audit of all property, evidence and cases Senft was involved in and found no other discrepancies.
Senft joined the sheriff’s office on Sept. 1, 1999, during the tenure of former Sheriff Bill Hose. He had been promoted twice, once in 2003 to corporal and in 2004 to sergeant.
Senft was terminated from the department, the sheriff’s office said earlier this week.
Keuerleber wrote in the release that he is “deeply disturbed” by the allegations against Senft.
“There is absolutely no indication that any other person was involved in these matters,” he said. “I wish to reassure the public that our internal policies and procedures supported the quick identification and we are taking continual corrective steps to ensure that this does not ever happen again.”
Keuerleber asked the public not to let the charges against Senft “overshadow the professionalism and integrity of all who continue to serve the people of York County honorably and faithfully each and every day.”
Attorney Korey Leslie, who represents Senft, said he and his client have not had an opportunity to go through the charges and determine whether they are appropriate. Senft has cooperated with the investigation and respects the roles of those involved.
“He will have his day in court, and we look forward to that,” Leslie said.
The money that allegedly was taken was not tied to active cases, Leslie said. He believes that it in no way affected the prosecution’s cases.
Senft acknowledged he was going through financial problems at the time, Leslie said. Sometimes people make decisions they regret, and they move forward to rectify the mistake, Leslie said.
Senft earned $25.67 an hour, according to the county.
In addition to the years Senft served in the sheriff’s department, he also had been honorably discharged from the military, Leslie said.
“One incident does not define a person,” Leslie said.