$8000 lost at cop shop

Herald Sun (Australia)
BYLINE: Padraic Murphy

Victoria, Australia

Missing evidence probe

THOUSANDS of dollars have disappeared from a police station, sparking another embarrassing internal investigation for Victoria Police.

About $8000 vanished from the secure evidence room at Moonee Ponds station between June 2007 and January last year, say police sources.

The money is believed to have been held at the station before it was due to be banked into consolidated revenue.

Only a handful of authorised people had access to the room. A police spokesman said an investigation by the Ethical Standards Department was continuing.

"When this was discovered a full audit of the property holdings was conducted. The matter is currently being investigated by the Ethical Standards Department,'' said Insp Nigel Howard.

"As it is a matter under investigation we won't go into detail as to how much money was alleged to have been stolen, and why it was being held at the station. No one has been charged at this time.''

However, police sources claimed the ESD investigation had been marred by several changes in investigating officers.

"They must have had three or four different crews on it,'' one source said.

Insp Howard said: "A number of procedures have been introduced at Moonee Ponds police station to ensure the security of property or cash held at the station.''

The missing cash was not included in a Freedom of Information request, granted to the Herald Sun last month,
which revealed dozens of items had been stolen from police stations between January 2007 and April this year.

Five of the 47 cases released to the Herald Sun were suspected of being inside jobs, with the remainder believed to be the work of opportunist thieves.

A spokesman for the Office of Police Integrity said the ESD Moonee Ponds investigation would be reviewed once it had been completed.

Copyright 2009 Nationwide News Pty Limited

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