Investigation Begins After Thousands of Dollars Disappear from Sheriff's Office Evidence Room

WHSV-TV3, whsv.com
BYLINE: Isabel Rosales
Video

Augusta County, VA


AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Nearly $4,000 have disappeared from the Augusta County Sheriff's Office. It was evidence from a drug case and was being held inside the office's evidence room.

Now the Virginia State Police is being brought in to investigate what happened to the missing money.

Behind a door recorded by cameras and hidden behind a fingerprint lock are thousands of pieces of evidence.

Despite this technology, Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher said a human error led to the money's disappearance.

"We just made a mistake, it slipped out of that safe, went into that trash pile and nobody saw it fall in there because the pile of trash it fell into was other evidence that was being destroyed," explained Fisher.

He said the room had nearly 8,000 pieces of evidence and all types of evidence were placed in bags, making it easy to miss all of the money on the floor.

That's why he brought in two outside agencies to investigate.

"I'm very confident. One hundred percent confident," expressed Fisher. "The money was not stolen. It simply slipped out of the safe and went into the trash. We didn't see it, we didn't know it."

That wasn't the only security breech in the evidence room.

In August, the door was left open under the camera's eye.

"They viewed that tape for that seven-hour period that the door was left open, nobody went into that evidence room," said Fisher.

The sheriff said with the new, much bigger and organized safe, as well as new evidence bags that now specifically mark money, it will prevent something like this from happening again.

"Now if you look down there and see that orange bag you know that's cash. Something is wrong," continued Fisher.

He also said that they now also make full quarterly audits of the new safe.

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