State investigates missing evidence from Allen County Sheriff’s Office

Civitas Media, The Lima News,
BYLINE: Greg Sowinski -

Allen County, OH

LIMA — Sheriff Sam Crish has called in a state agency to investigate the possible theft of property from the evidence room at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.

“We can’t find the items. I don’t know what happened to them so I contacted [the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation]. I believe it’s more than just items being misplaced,” Crish said.

Crish called BCI on Friday after items were discovered missing from the evidence room in the basement at the Sheriff’s Office. BCI is a division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and is often called in to conduct an independent investigation to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Crish said no one at his agency will be involved in the investigation.

BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said no one has been charged. Del Greco said she will not discuss details of the case because it’s a pending criminal investigation. She said typically what happens is once the investigation is over the findings will be presented to the county prosecutor’s office. Sometimes the county prosecutor will ask for an outside prosecutor to handle the matter.

Crish said a combination lock is on the door to the room and only three people at the agency have the code. He declined to name the three people. The room was accessed by opening the lock, there were no signs of forced entry, Crish said.

Crish also said he would not identify the missing items because of the pending investigation.

No employees have been disciplined or placed on leave. The Sheriff’s Office is letting BCI handle the investigation and will wait for the findings, Crish said.

The items that are missing will not affect the outcome of any trial or hearing, Crish said.

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