Warrant: Ex-Franklin deputy charged with larceny also sent obscene messages
Posted January 25, 2016 4:18 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2016 9:36 p.m. EST
Louisburg, N.C. — A former deputy of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office stole badges, jail keys and other items from the law enforcement agency, authorities said Monday.
Dwayne Lee Collins, 53, of 222 Moores Pond Road in Youngsville, was charged with larceny by employee and was being held in the Franklin County jail under a $10,000 bond.
Collins took 30 badges, seven sheriff's office patches, jail keys, uniform belt buckles and "vehicle unlocking devices," according to an arrest warrant.
Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead said his office has implemented the use of software that accounts for inventory of all property owned by agency to "aid in prevention of unauthorized possession in the future."
The badges Collins is accused of stealing were from over a number of years, according to the sheriff's office. Collins was with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office for 20 years before he was let go when Winstead took office in 2014.
Investigators with the Wake Forest Police Department said they found the items at Collins' Youngsvile home on Jan. 13 while serving a search warrant in an unrelated case.
"They discovered some illegal activity that Mr. Collins had taken part in, in Franklin County," said Bill Crabtree with the town of Wake Forest.
The search warrant states that officers responded to 876 N. Main St. on Nov. 9 in response to a burglary and a stolen firearm. A woman said that she returned home to find Collins’ firearm missing and her apartment in disarray.
An officer found a screen was torn about 2 inches and determined it would not have been possible for someone to enter the apartment through the screen. The woman said the only other person who had a key to the apartment was Collins.
Following the break-in, the woman said she began receiving obscene text messages from an unknown phone number. The text messages indicated that the sender knew where she lived and was the person who broke into her apartment, according to the search warrant.
On Nov. 21, a person using the pseudonym “Bates” placed a call to police from the Youngsville Fire Department and said that he saw what he believed to be Collins' stolen handgun in a toolbox in the back of a pickup truck when he was visiting some friends in Wake Forest. “Bates” was later determined to be Collins' son, Trevor Collins.
According to the warrant, Trevor Collins told police that his father called him one day to tell him that the woman needed help getting groceries out of the back of her truck. While helping her at her apartment, he saw his father’s handgun in the truck.
Trevor Collins told police that his dad told him to call in the tip to the Wake Forest Police Department and tell officers where the gun was located. He also stated that his dad admitted to using a “burner phone” to send the obscene text messages, according to the warrant.
Dwayne Collins faces charges of cyberstalking, filing a false report, harassing communications and communicating threats in the case.
Youngsville Police Chief Daren Kirts said that Collins resigned from a position as a part-time police officer with the department early Tuesday. Kirts said that Collins had been with the department for six months and would fill in on missing shifts.
Kirts said that the charges against Collins came as a surprise to him and that Collins "did a good job when he was here." Collins had been on administrative leave since last week, when Kirts learned about the charges against him.
The Youngsville Fire Department said that both Collins and his son have worked for the department for the past few months. A statement said that both have been relieved of their duties "in the best interest of the Youngsville Fire Department and the citizens we serve."
"The Youngsville Fire Department takes any criminal investigation against our firefighters very seriously and strive to always provide our citizens with top notch, professional emergency services," said the statement..