BYLINE: Rob Masson, Reporter, Email:
New Orleans, LA
A recent audit shows more than $200,000 is missing from the NOPD evidence room.
New Orleans - It's been over a year since FOX 8 first told you about the theft of tens of thousands of dollars from the New Orleans police evidence room.
The good news is that the thefts appear to have been nipped in the bud. The bad news, the NOPD has not been able to uncover who, perhaps from police ranks, stole the money.
In the turmoil following Hurricane Katrina, as much as a quarter of a million dollars in evidence cash was reported stolen from the NOPD evidence room.
Police chief Warren Riley promised a full investigation, as he moved the evidence room to a secure location.
Now, the chief says one year later, he's not in a position to close his inquiry. He says one suspect may have left the department, and he says he doesn't have any concrete evidence.
Riley says the thefts appeared to have been fueled by two main problems. First, there were too many keys given out when the evidence room was moved to a trailer after Katrina. Secondly, he says too many people were involved in the moving of evidence, to the more secure facility in 2008.
The theft was first revealed, when attorney Rick Teissier's client had $36,000 stolen from police evidence.
The chief has implemented a dual key system to access evidence. And while Teissier says the system seems to be working, he says, “I don't know why it takes the chief over a year to find out who took the money.'
With just a few months remaining on the job, the chief hopes to make an arrest soon. Riley says, “We are determined to find this information. We do have evidence, but not enough to say it's these individuals.”
At this point, one, if not more thieves, who are either former or current police officers, remain on the loose.
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International Association for Property and Evidence
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