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TSA officer faked burglary as excuse for being late for work, detectives say

Taleta Collier, 34, was arrested Monday for criminal use of a personal ID and uttering a false...
Taleta Collier, 34, was arrested Monday for criminal use of a personal ID and uttering a false document, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.(Polk County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 8:53 AM PDT
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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) – Detectives in Florida said they arrested a TSA employee for faking a police report in which she claimed she was late for work because she was robbed.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 34-year-old Taleta Collier called into work on March 20 to say she was going to be late for her shift.

Once she arrived at work, Collier told her supervisor she was late because while she was at her parents’ home, a man with a knife tried to steal her parents’ vehicle. Collier told her supervisor she drew her agency-issued weapon and pointed it at the suspect, who ran off.

Collier told her supervisor she reported the incident to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Her supervisor asked for documentation of the report, which Collier couldn’t provide at the time.

According to detectives, two weeks later, Collier texted her supervisor a photo of a document that looked like a police report. But when the sheriff’s office reviewed the image, they determined it was a fake report.

Detectives said they could tell it was fake because it was not an official Polk County Sheriff’s Office form, and Collier used the name of a deputy who was on an international vacation at the date of the incident, so it was impossible that he responded to the supposed burglary.

The deputy confirmed he did not have any knowledge of the incident and did not know Collier.

Collier’s parents also told detectives they had no knowledge of the incident and that their vehicle had not been burglarized.

Prior to this incident, Collier was already on a TSA employee improvement plan for excessive tardiness, the sheriff’s office said.

Collier was arrested Monday for criminal use of a personal ID and uttering a false document.

“I don’t understand why anyone would go to the extent of creating a fake police report to avoid a reprimand at work for tardiness,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release. “Collier has violated the trust of her coworkers and the people she was supposed to keep safe.”

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