USA Today, Cincinnati.com, news.cincinnati.com
BYLINE: Keith BieryGolick
Goshen Township, OH
GOSHEN — At least $15,000 and blank money orders are missing from the Goshen Township Police Department’s evidence room, according to Police Chief Ray Snyder.
“There was a handgun originally thought to be missing, but it has since been located,” he said.
Goshen Township police Capt. Bob Rose has been leading an internal investigation, Snyder said.
Now Trustee Claire Corcoran wants to turn the investigation over to the Ohio attorney general’s office of Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Corcoran said she found out about the missing money May 20, and sent an email to Snyder and trustees.
His response was to give him 30 days and he would update her, she said.
It’s been more than two months and no update has been given, Corcoran said.
“The longer this goes unresolved I worry it could snowball,” she said.
Trustee Bob Hausermann said he didn’t believe anything was stolen from the department.
“I’m not sure there’s anything missing,” Hausermann said.
“It’s being looked at right now as a clerical error.”
Corcoran said it was reported to her as a theft, “not a simple clerical error.”
“I don’t want to point fingers, I don’t want to accuse anyone – but come on. This has gone on long enough,” she said.
“What’s the clerical error of blank money orders missing?”
Goshen Township police Sgt. Don Hampton is the “evidence custodian” and one of two people with a key to the evidence room, Snyder said.
“Prior to Hampton being the evidence custodian a retired officer by the name of Kate Davis handled those responsibilities,” he said.
“She returned the key to Hampton when she left, and then Hampton had to assume those duties.”
Rose, the supervisor handling the investigation, is the only other person with a key to the room, Snyder said.
“Bob Rose holds a key because oftentimes people would show up to pick up property from us when Davis or Hampton were not working,” he said.
Corcoran said she wanted to turn the investigation over to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to provide clarity on the matter.
“What’s happening is you’ve got the fox who has gotten into the chicken coop. Guess who you’re having investigate? The fox that got into the chicken coop,” she said.
Trustee Ray Autenrieb said the county attorney’s office tried to help determine where the money orders went.
“They had the numbers, but didn’t have names of who they were payable too,” Autenrieb said. “The county attorney’s office was unable to get that information.”
Autenrieb said he believed it was Hampton who first discovered items were missing.
“I have no idea who took it - or if anyone took it,” he said.
“I would hate to think that one of my officers, past or present, was responsible for it.”
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