A former Sardis police officer known by his co-workers as “Robocop” is back in jail after a trail of trouble since his resignation in 2009.
Winard Dewayne Burke, 33, of Mock Street in Sylvania, turned himself in Thursday morning after breaking into a Sylvania police lieutenant’s patrol car while it was parked in front of the department Sunday, police said.
According to Sylvania police reports, Burke approached the police department while officers were responding to a call. Sylvania firefighters, who were in the fire station next to the police department, questioned Burke as he appeared in shorts and no shirt, carrying a “slim jim,” a device used to unlock cars.
When firefighters questioned Burke, he said he was there to talk to police officers and that he would return when they came back from the call, according to reports. He left, and firefighters notified Lt. Tony Taylor, who returned to find that his car had been entered, police reports say.
The patrol car showed evidence of being broken into by someone using a slim jim, reports state. Also, a set of keys, a gas key and an office key were missing, police said.
Burke turned himself in Thursday and was charged with entering auto and false statements and writings, according to booking reports from the Screven County Sheriff’s Department.
This most recent incident follows a long list of violations stemming from 2009, when Burke resigned from his position as a Sardis police officer after a nude photo surfaced.
According to The True Citizen of Waynesboro, Burke texted a nude photo of himself, taken in the Sardis Police Department bathroom, to a woman in the same town. Her daughter intercepted the photo and forwarded it to several others, the newspaper reported.
Around the same time, Burke was being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regarding reports that he threw bricks through the windows of two Sardis homes. Witnesses said he was dressed in black and fled when one homeowner fired a shotgun, The True Citizen reported.
Burke was arrested on charges of terroristic threats and acts stemming from that incident. He was taken into custody by GBI agents when he reported for Taser training in Sylvania in May 2010.
A short time later, Burke was stopped for running a stop sign in Sardis and was found to have guns and drugs — pain medications and Ecstasy — in his possession, according to reports. He first claimed to be a military police officer, then changed his story when he produced a badge he received when working as a Screven County jailer.
Earlier this year, Burke was charged with expired driver’s license and speeding in Sardis, according to reports.
Also, in April, a burglary was reported in which $16,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. After investigations continued and some of the jewelry was found in a Savannah pawn shop, Burke turned himself in to police in July, according to the Sylvania Telephone.
He was out on bond Sunday, when Taylor’s patrol car was broken into. Burke is currently being held without bond in the Screven County Jail.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.