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Former police clerk charged with second gun theft

North Kitsap Herald,
Link to Article
Poulsbo, WA

2011-10-21_Former police clerk charged_01
Amanda M. Dixon arrives Sept, 28 for arraignment at Superior Court, where she pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of firearms theft. Johnny Walker

POULSBO -- Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives, working in conjunction with Poulsbo police, have again arrested a former Poulsbo police evidence clerk and charged her with theft.

The agencies announced Thursday that Amanda M. Dixon, 23, now of Kingston, was arrested Tuesday morning at the Kitsap County Courthouse where she was attending proceedings involving her boyfriend, identified as Jacob J. Bryant, 22. She was booked into the Kitsap County Jail on a charge of theft of a firearm. Bail was set at $50,000.

The firearm in question had been stored in the Poulsbo police evidence/property room and was reported as destroyed on May 12, 2011, according to Poulsbo police documents. Dixon had signed departmental records indicating that she had witnessed the gun’s destruction. In fact, the gun turned up under the driver’s seat of Dixon’s vehicle, Sept. 18, when a Washington State Patrol trooper contacted the driver of the vehicle involved in a collision on State Highway 3, in the Gorst area of South Kitsap. That driver was Bryant, the agencies reported.

The gun is a Rino Galesi (Italy) .22 caliber, semi-automatic handgun (model Rigarmi Hijo). The gun’s serial number appeared to have been removed intentionally. Bryant, a convicted felon, is prohibited by law from possessing any firearm. He was arrested and booked into jail for unlawful possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and for a number of narcotics and driver’s status offenses related to the collision investigation, the agencies reported.

Dixon recently was charged in court for theft of a firearm stemming from an investigation into the similar disappearance of a handgun from Poulsbo police evidence. That weapon, a Bryco Arms .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, was located in a private residence where Dixon had lived. Dixon had signed police documents that she had witnessed the gun’s destruction on July 11, 2010.

It was turned over to Poulsbo police by her father on July 5, who found it among his daughter’s possessions when she was moving from his home.

Upon discovery of this discrepancy, Poulsbo police requested assistance from the sheriff’s office in conducting an investigation.

During the course of this first investigation, sheriff’s detectives developed probable cause to arrest Dixon. She was taken into custody July 29 and booked into jail on a charge of theft of a firearm, with bail set at $100,000.

Dixon was released from custody Aug. 1 on personal recognizance, following an appearance in Kitsap County District Court (felony). Dixon had resigned from Poulsbo police employment in June.

Aware of the previous investigation into the stolen handgun from Poulsbo police evidence, the WSP trooper investigating the Sept. 18 collision involving Bryant, driving Dixon’s vehicle, contacted Poulsbo police and Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives. The handgun found under the driver’s seat was turned over to the sheriff’s office.

Poulsbo police provided sheriff’s detectives with documentation concerning the custody, storage and reported destruction of a number of weapons that were no longer needed for evidence purposes. One of the firearms listed as being destroyed was a Rino Galesi .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun with a five-digit serial number. Photographs of the pistol showed it to be identical to the gun recovered from underneath the driver’s seat of Dixon’s vehicle, the agencies reported.

This firearm was submitted to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for forensic examination. It was noted in the forensic report that the gun’s serial number was obliterated.

The report further noted that, while at the lab, the area of the handgun containing the serial number was polished and chemically treated (standard restoration techniques) by forensic examiners which partially restored the serial number, less one complete digit of the five-digit number. All other serial number digits matched those of the firearm that had reportedly been destroyed on May 12, the agencies reported.

Sheriff’s detectives were able to ascertain that no other handgun of this caliber, make/model, with a similar serial number, had ever been registered or reported as stolen.

Sheriff’s detectives were again able to establish probable cause to arrest Dixon for theft of a firearm and she was taken into custody.

Following an appearance in Kitsap County District Court (felony), Wednesday, Dixon was released from custody on personal recognizance. The investigation continues.

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