About $320 in beach access fees were stolen by a Weed Beach security guard who police said was giving fake receipts to beach visitors and pocketing the cash.
Police were notified by the town’s Parks & Recreation Department that an employee of Securitas — the company contracted by the town to attend gates at town beaches — was stealing the money. Police said that John Dugdale, 54, was stealing the $40 daily access fee charged to non-residents and issuing his own receipts to these visitors.
A fellow Securitas employee realized what was happening and told the Parks & Rec office. When questioned, Dugdale admitted to the thefts, saying that he had major money problems and was tempted by the cash, police said.
Jim Coghlan, assistant director of Darien’s Parks & Rec department, told The Darien Times that the town would likely continue its contract with Securitas. Police Capt. Fred Komm told The Times that Dugdale voluntarily returned the $320 to the town. It’s still unclear how long Dugdale was stealing cash, but Komm said the thefts took place “over a relatively brief period of time.”
Dugdale turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was released on a written promise to appear in court on Monday, July 30.