MANATEE -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Office detective is being investigated and criminal charges have been filed against his wife after she broke into a vacant home in Hillsborough County and moved in their family.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow confirmed the internal investigation was ongoing. Deputy Leon Pollock has been on unpaid leave since Aug. 9.
His wife, Jeanella Pollock, was arrested Thursday at her new home in the 7500 block of Turtle View Drive in Ruskin on felony counts of grand theft of more than $100,000 and second-degree burglary.
She was released Friday on bonds totaling $22,500.
Jeanella Pollock filed a notarized adverse possession form Feb. 15 at the Hillsborough County property Appraiser's Office for a home on the 6900 block of Potomac Circle in Riverview, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. This filing prompted the property appraiser to send a letter to the homeowner at her Alabama residence.
The same day, Jeanella Pollock hired a locksmith change the locks in the home and moved in with her husband and their teenage children. Water and electric service was also set up at the home by Jeanella Pollock.
According to detectives, the homeowner said she never authorized anyone to live in the home. The homeowner was forced to move out due to financial difficulties. She was negotiating with the bank that holds the mortgage so she could catch up on her payments and be allowed to move back in.
This is a growing problem in Florida, and not a first in Hillsborough County either.
"Unfortunately we have had others," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.
The case may be handled by the State Attorney's Office Economic Crimes Unit, according to Assistant State Attorney Lucia Iler.
In 2007, Leon Pollock was honored for being a foster parent and awarded the Beall's Humanitarian Award. He has been with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office since February 1998 and most recently was assigned to the Gang Unit.
The Hillsborough County detectives are continuing to investigate to determine if additional arrests will be made.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.