MADISON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A former Madison County sheriff's deputy is accused of stealing $40,000 from an elderly woman.
Eric Smith, 31, is charged with felony stealing.
Smith is accused of taking $40,000 in cash from the woman's safe in her home on Sept, 28.
Madison County Sheriff Robert Spain said he requested the Missouri State Highway Patrol do an investigation into allegations made by the woman.
Smith was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and charged on Thursday afternoon.
Sheriff Spain Smith is no longer employed by the department.
He said Smith was the canine officer for the sheriff's department, and it was his personal dog.
Sheriff Spain said they are now in the process of getting a new dog.
He said they will work with the city of Fredericktown, which does have a dog.
According to the probable cause statement, Smith admitted to stealing the money.
Smith told investigators he was at the woman's home the night of Sept. 27 following up on a call.
Smith told investigators that he carried a safe into the woman's home that night and knew the money was in there because the safe was opened just before he carried it in the house.
Then, on Sept. 28, Smith came back to the woman's house. While she was in the yard, Smith admitted to going into the house and taking the money from the safe.
Investigators found $26,875 in cash in Smith's home, according to the probable cause statement.
According to the Madison County Sheriff's department, Smith told authorities he took the money while off duty and in plain clothes.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office has been name a special prosecutor on case.
People we talked to say they were shocked something like this could happen.
"Why would he do that? I don't understand," said James Jackson. "A man that is supposed to be representing the law is breaking the law."