Police Officers Arrested in Multimillion Dollar Theft - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/03/04

Police Officers Arrested in Multimillion Dollar Theft

Investigators have arrested a pair of Low Country police officers, one charged with stealing more than $4.5 million from an elderly Hilton Head Island couple. The officers posted bond and are out of jail.

Investigators say it started about five years ago, when the victim's housekeeper, Lisa Cramer, who's also a reserve Bluffton police officer, began slowly siphoning money from them. It apparently got progressively worse as time went on.

Police aren't releasing the couple's names. Saying they are "vulnerable."

Lisa Cramer of was arrested yesterday morning for bilking the elderly couple out of their money. Her friend and fellow officer Benito Reyes is facing criminal conspiracy charges. Police say he accepted a $15,000 check signed by the one of the victims.

Reyes is a fulltime officer with the Bluffton Police Department.

Chief John Brown says both have been suspended with pay while the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and the State Law Enforcement Division continue to investigate.

Late yesterday afternoon, Sheriff PJ Tanner told WTOC that Cramer had used the money she collected over the years to buy several pieces of property, houses and vehicles.

Neither Sheriff Tanner nor Chief Brown could talk about the case on camera. We'll stay on top of this story and bring you the developments as they unfold.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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