TOWANDA - Someone has stolen hundreds of dollars from the Bradford County Sheriff's Department's bank account at the Citizens & Northern Bank, according to the state police and the Bradford County sheriff.

The thief or thieves were able to withdraw the money from the bank account between Sept. 10 and Sept. 27, according to a press release that the state police issued on Friday.

The thief or thieves electronically removed money a number of times from the account to make purchases, said Bradford County Sheriff Clinton "C.J." Walters. All of the purchases took place in Florida, he said.

"I think it was about $700" that was stolen from the account, he said.

The account was immediately closed after the thefts were discovered by a secretary in the Sheriff's Office, he said.

The Sheriff's Department then opened a new account at the bank.

The account from which the money was stolen was used by the Sheriff's Department to conduct its daily business, Walters said.

The bank has repaid the Sheriff's Department for the loss of funds.

Walters said the thefts did not result from a security lapse by his department.

"How could there be a security lapse (by the Sheriff's Department) if the bank holds all the money?" the sheriff said.

Walters said he does not know if there are any suspects in the case, as it is the state police who are conducting the investigation into the thefts.

No further information was available on Friday from the state police.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.