August 27, 2020
AUBURN — Two Auburn police officers were handed unpaid suspensions Thursday after an internal investigation involving cash and weapons missing from the department's evidence room.
Officers Steven Vallance and Steven Ryan both were given 30-day unpaid suspensions and were required to submit "corrective performance observation forms," which they have completed.
Vallance entered the Auburn Police Department's evidence room when he was not authorized to do so, and Ryan allowed him to enter, Police Chief Martin McCoy said.
Ryan was given an additional five-day unpaid suspension for failing to properly complete evidence records, McCoy said.
Based on McCoy's recommendation, the Auburn Board of Works and Public Safety voted to discipline the officers at its meeting Thursday at Auburn City Hall.
Police officials discovered evidence was missing after a woman came to the department Jan. 19 to reclaim $1,447 cash from a case that had been resolved. An audit of the evidence room was prompted when officers could not find the money. The audit revealed a total of $2,033 in cash was missing, as well as four knives, eight .22-caliber bullets and a 12-gauge shotgun, McCoy said.
Indiana State Police and the Allen County Sheriff's Department investigated the case for two months but could not provide enough evidence for DeKalb County prosecutors to bring criminal charges.
"I want to make it very clear that no one has been cited with theft of the money," McCoy said Thursday. "These recommendations are based on procedural violations as a result of the investigation."