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Gun thefts from Selma police evidence vault spark major probe

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State and federal law enforcement agencies are conducting a joint investigation into current and past employees of the Selma Police Department after a large number of guns were taken from the department's evidence vault, including one later connected to a homicide.

Selma police Chief Spencer Collier said he asked the attorney general's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance given the complexity of the case. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday announced his office's involvement along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"The joint investigation will include an audit of the police department's evidence room in the wake of recent reports of missing items from the department's vault. I appreciate the assistance of Chief Collier who has provided complete access to the department's records as we conduct our joint investigation into possible corruption and missing evidence," Marshall said in a statement.
The multiagency investigation comes after an evidence technician, her husband and a technician were arrested for allegedly stealing guns, or receiving stolen guns, from the police department's evidence vault.
Collier said more than 200 guns were found in a rented storage facility. Collier said at least one of the guns that was supposed to be in the evidence locker made it "back to the street" and was used in a crime. A handgun missing from the police department's evidence locker was used in an April homicide in Dallas County.
Collier, who became the city's police chief in March, said he discovered that the evidence vault had not been audited in 17 years. Collier said he is implementing a practice of frequent audits and greater controls on evidence inventory.

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