COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Colbert County Jail employee is free on bond after court documents say he was charged with stealing money from an inmate.

26-year-old Austin Blake Spires of Florence was at the center of the investigation after $20 was reported missing after an inmate was booked into the jail.

On September 14, a Cherokee Police Officer, Booking Officer and Warden counted a total of $74 in eight bills that belonged to the inmate during the booking process. Video surveillance from the jail showed them counting the money.

Jailor Spires can be seen on surveillance footage afterward putting seven bills into the money machine, totaling $54.

Colbert County Sheriff’s Investigator Daniel Cruise reported that Spires was interviewed at the sheriff’s office regarding the missing money on September 15. Before he was questioned, Cruise says Spires signed a waiver and was read his Miranda Rights.

Initially, Cruise said Spires denied taking the money but then changed his answer, saying he took the $20 because he needed gas money. He also confessed to committing several more thefts while booking inmates in the past.

Austin Spires (Colbert Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Spires was arrested and booked into the Colbert County Jail pending further investigation into the other thefts, court documents show.

Bond was set at $300, which Spires paid and was released.

According to Sheriff Frank Williamson, Spires is no longer employed with the sheriff’s department.

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