An NYPD cop already demoted from captain to lieutenant for hanging out in a bar while on duty was suspended this week after she was accused of stealing $1,300 worth of wood flooring from a Long Island store.
Lt. Lina Ruiz, 40, was arrested Monday for allegedly swiping 10 boxes of flooring from a Floor & Decor store in Commack, Suffolk County, police said.
The theft occurred April 13. Ruiz was suspended from duty upon her arrest, an NYPD spokesman said.
The theft was a simple misunderstanding, Ruiz’s attorney Peter Brill claimed, calling the incident a “comedy of errors.”
Ruiz, who is in the process of building a home on Long Island, is a regular at a Floor & Decor store in Garden City, Nassau County, Brill said.
Earlier this year, when she was ready to get her floors done, she ordered 65 boxes of wood flooring from the store but only received 55, Brill said.
When she went to the store to find out what happened, an employee at the Garden City store told her there were more boxes at the Commack store, according to Brill.
The employee said she was going to note in the computer that she had paid for the boxes and was allowed to take them, but never made the entry, Brill claims.
Ruiz took the boxes, even stopping to talk with the clerk about it, believing that the entry had been made, Brill said. When workers at the Commack store realized they were missing 10 boxes of flooring they called police, who tracked down Ruiz.
“As you can imagine she’s devastated by this,” Brill said, adding that the employee who failed to make the entry has been fired for similar mistakes. “It’s clearly a misunderstanding.”
Ruiz is charged with misdemeanor grand larceny, Suffolk County police said. She was given a desk appearance ticket ordering her to show up in court at a later date to face the charges.
Ruiz, a 17-year-veteran of the the NYPD, was booted down from captain to lieutenant in 2018 when she was found hanging out in a bar while on duty.
Although it wasn’t clear if she had been drinking, she was demoted for using poor judgment, a police source said.
Before Ruiz was suspended, she had been assigned to Queens Central Booking, according to NYPD personnel records.