Jacksonville officer's husband accused of setting up patrol car theft

The Marine Corps recruiter was arrested on a fugitive warrant in North Carolina

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday brought a new twist to a high-profile heist as News4Jax learned a Marine Corps recruiter and husband of a Jacksonville Sheriff's officer was arrested in connection with a break-in at the couple's home.

Bruno Bego, 32, was arrested on a fugitive warrant Oct. 18 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he was working at Camp LeJeune. He faces charges of armed burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and criminal solicitation in the case, News4Jax has since confirmed.

Bego, who remains in custody in North Carolina, is the fourth person charged in the case, joining Juan Anibal Otero, Orialys Santiago-Maldonado and Kyler Evans. Otero, 20, Santiago-Maldonado, 20, and Evans, 24, are charged with armed burglary and auto theft.

The trio's charges stem from an Oct. 15 break-in at Bego's home while his wife was out of town. The officer's patrol car, three handguns, police-issued body armor, ammunition and a television were among the items taken during the burglary.

In response to the break-in, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office reached out to the public for help leading to the vehicle's recovery. A tip led police to the patrol car and three suspects, but the three guns are still missing.

"These three individuals were either bold and brazen or stupid to take a marked police car in broad daylight and ride around in it," said News4Jax crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson, who worked for decades as an officer with the Sheriff's Office.

Jefferson said he was surprised by the latest developments in the case, which implicated the officer's husband. He believes the trio initially arrested in the burglary told detectives Bego was involved.

"It goes to show you that there is no honor among thieves," Jefferson said. "When they're up against the wall, they're going to talk. Otherwise, JSO would not have had anything to go on as far as his involvement."

Military records show Bego is a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps stationed at Camp LeJeune. He was previously a recruiter in Ponte Vedra.

A search of Duval County court records found documents indicating the couple recently ran into financial issues with a foreclosure being filed on their home.

The State Attorney's Office declined to release Bego's arrest warrant, saying it was exempt from disclosure under Florida's public records laws because it's related to an active investigation.

A spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office declined to discuss the case on camera Wednesday, but noted that the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case.

"The officer was on vacation," Jefferson said. "She had a car legally parked in her driveway. Thieves came and took it and then the plot thickens as we learn more about it."

Bego, who's being held at the jail in Onslow County, North Carolina, is expected to be extradited to Jacksonville at some point to face charges. It was unclear Wednesday if he had an attorney.

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