DENVER (CBS4) – A former high-ranking Denver sheriff’s officer who stole tax software and sold it online was sentenced to two months in jail and four years of probation on Tuesday.

Michael Than, 47, snatched $20,000 worth of TurboTax software from a Target store in Jefferson County over four years and then sold it on eBay for $60,000.

The judge who sentenced Than said ordinarily he would impose probation, but his employment with the sheriff’s office meant he breached the public’s trust and darkened the image of the department.

Than told the judge he had a gambling problem. He resigned from his position after being caught.

Than, who was with the department for more than two decades, didn’t report the income on his taxes.

Surveillance video from the Target in Westminster showed him hiding the software in dog food bags on Jan. 19, 2013.

Than is seen in the video pacing the aisles of the store for nearly an hour, periodically returning to the shelf to stash another copy of the software in the resealable dog food bag. A manager was waiting for him at the checkout, and when Than was confronted, he fled.

The thefts happened over a four-year span ending in 2013.

He pleaded guilty in November.

The Than escapade is one in a string of embarrassments suffered by the beleaguered sheriff’s department in the last few years.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As CBS4 reported on Tuesday, authorities had to drop a felony charge against Than. He was convicted on a separate felony charge.


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