Anonymous tip: Police chief knew about employee drug theft



WEST MELBOURNE, Fla.,None - The police chief of West Melbourne is accused of failing to tell city leaders about a former police commander who stole drugs from an evidence room.

Commander Charles Schrum was caught stealing the drugs two years ago, but no one knew until an anonymous tip recently surfaced, WFTV found.

Surveillance video inside the police department caught Schrum walking into the evidence room and moving the camera so it wouldn't capture what he did next.

A second camera caught him slipping into another room with a cart that contained prescription drugs seized by police after a resident's death.

Schrum later confessed to West Melbourne Police Chief Brian Lock he stole the drugs, but Lock let two years go by before he reported it to any of his superiors at the city.

"Now people are questioning whether that was a good decision of the police department and certainly we don't think that was a good decision."

Schrum retired with a full pension, and was never arrested or charged. Prosecutors said the confession wouldn't have been admissible.

One city councilman says it's a cover-up.

West Melbourne City Councilman Mike Hazlett said that Lock told him, "Mike he's a very good friend of mine." Hazlett said he replied, "You're the police chief and you're sworn to do your job."

Under the city charter it would be up to the council to decide what to do about the chief now.

Chief Lock didn't respond to requests for comment. He is in Tennessee seeking a new job, one of several he applied for as the drug theft scandal started unfolding.

Hazlett has called for an emergency City Council meeting at West Melbourne City Hall on Thursday night to address the chief's position.

He said he believes his research into this case is why he was being followed and ticketed recently.