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Officer arrested for using police system to follow woman on social media

By Eliza Kruczynski, Olivia Kalentek and Marcy Jones

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    OLD SAYBROOK, Connecticut (WFSB) — An Old Saybrook police officer was arrested and placed on administrative leave for using a police database to look up a woman’s personal information.

Old Saybrook police said Patrolman Josh Zarbo was accused of illegally using an online law enforcement system called COLLECT to get information about the woman, whom he saw while he was on patrol.

They said Zarbo noticed the complainant while he patrolled Walmart for a Black Friday event.

According to the arrest warrant, the complainant said she saw Zarbo staring at her as she drove away.

Zarbo allegedly used her vehicle registration along with her plate number to gain access to her personal information.

The then used that information to follow the complainant on Instagram, the arrest warrant said.

The warrant also released a text conversation between Zarbo and a dispatcher. Zarbo wrote “Bro I’m gaming right now,” which is slang that refers to “picking up women.”

Zarbo was charged with third-degree computer crimes and was placed on paid administrative leave.

Police said Zarbo has been with the department since 2017.

Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera provided a statement to Channel 3:

Old Saybrook Citizens must be assured that they can trust their Police Department not only to provide superior traditional and nontraditional law enforcement services every day, but that they can also trust their Police Department to maintain high standards, swiftly address internal matters, and possess the ability to properly police our own.

Chief Michael Spera, Old Saybrook police

Zarbo was released on a $5,000 bond.

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