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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Dec 11, 2023

Former Haines City police officer arrested for retail theft

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested an officer from the Haines City Police Department on Saturday, December 9, 2023 after he and another person were detained by Walmart security for retail theft.

48-year old David Griffin of Mulberry was arrested by PCSO deputies after they responded to the Mulberry Walmart store at 6745 Church Avenue North Saturday evening. It was learned that Griffin had been employed as a police officer in Haines City. He resigned from HCPD upon his arrest.

Griffin was accompanied by 28-year old Shelbi Dubose, who was also arrested.

“It is always disappointing to me when someone in law enforcement commits a crime and betrays the trust of their community. Haines City is a wonderful city and they have a top notch professional police department. We will absolutely hold Griffin accountable for his actions. The only thing he did right was immediately resign upon his arrest.”Grady Judd, Sheriff

PCSO detectives found that a Walmart employee noticed that Griffin was placing items in bags without scanning them. An employee approached Griffin, made him aware of the unscanned items, and assisted him in rectifying the problem. When the employee walked away, Griffin and Dubose both continued to bag additional items without scanning them.

Walmart security stopped the pair as they attempted to leave.

Together, Griffin and Dubose had scanned and paid for $207.72 worth of merchandise, but did not scan merchandise worth $343.22.

Walmart personnel checked their records of Griffin’s debit card usage at the store, pulled security video of those transactions, and determined that Griffin had committed four similar thefts on October 15, October 29, November 10, and November 26. Dubose participated in the thefts on three of those occasions.

David Griffin was charged with Retail Petit Theft (M2, 5-counts). Shelbi Dubose was charged with four counts of the same crime.

“I want to assure the public that we hold our officers to the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct. The recent arrest of one of our officers is deeply troubling and contrary to the values of our department. This behavior is not representative of the dedicated men and women who serve our community with honor and commitment every day. Let it be known, had Officer Griffin not resigned, his removal from duty would have been swift and decisive. We have zero tolerance for such actions and are committed to maintaining public trust through accountability and transparency." Police Chief Greg Goreck, Haines City Police Department