Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Cooke has been caught on camera stealing from the empty home of a fatally injured elderly man as he lay dying in a hospital from his hurricane injuries.
The incident happened when Jay Rosoff, who lives in North Carolina, called the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and requested a welfare check for Moe Rosoff, his 85-year-old father, on September 12.
Three deputies responded and found Moe on the floor of the master bathroom with life-threatening injuries. Moe, who had apparently fallen and hit his head during a power outage, was transported to a nearby hospital.
According to the affidavit, hour and a half later, someone stole Moe’s garage code from the sheriff’s dispatch log and broke into his unguarded home. When Jay, who had installed a surveillance system so that he could keep an eye on him after his mother died in June, saw the intruder and called the sheriff’s office to report the burglary, they were shocked to see the criminal was Cooke.
Police say Cooke, who was not involved in the initial call, has confessed to taking drugs from the home after learning Moe had passed away. He was arrested on October 19 on several charges, including burglary and larceny.
Jay told the Sun Sentinel:
“When I first saw the video, I was thinking it was a cop sent to the house to check on medication. After looking at it again, he was going through stuff he shouldn’t have gone through. It’s appalling that this officer was taking advantage of elderly people. The fact that there was a hurricane, that Florida was in a state of emergency and he was using his authority for bad reasons.”
Jay added cash and jewelry belonging to his father were missing since Cooke broke into the house. “We’re assuming he took it as well. I didn’t have a camera in the master bedroom, but he was in there for a minute, going through drawers.”
When Cooke was arrested, 60 pills, including narcotic painkillers, muscle relaxers, and other prescribed medications, were found in his patrol car. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which charged Cooke with armed burglary and grand theft and placed him on administrative leave, said in a statement:
“(The department) holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision, which leads to misconduct. This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges.”