Number of Steps Taken to Protect Police Evidence
Money stored as evidence, now suddenly missing.
Michigan State Police say the money was being held in the evidence room at the Cadillac post.
At least $1,400 has disappeared.
The money that is nowhere to be found is evidence from an armed robbery case in Interlochen last December.
The Grand Traverse County prosecutor tells 9 & 10 News as he was preparing for trial last month, he learned that evidence had come up missing.
A spokeswoman from the Michigan State Police says they are currently investigating an allegation of missing property at that post.
Evidence is kept under lock, key, and a close eye.
At the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, they take a number of steps to keep the evidence where it belongs.
Drugs, guns, and money. Just a few of the things one would find in an evidence room. That’s if you have access.
“There is only a certain number of people that can access that.”
And once evidence lands in this room, it must be documented each and every time someone looks at it.
Sheriff John Wilson explains, “Every time you go in there, they log in that they’re in there, why they’re in there, and the time that they log out. It’s also under 24 hour camera in there.”
When the evidence is cold hard cash, it’s never left alone with just one investigator.
“When we seize money, there’s always at least two people, checks and balances on it. If we seize a certain amount of money, whatever amount it is, you have 2 or 3 people count it and they document how many of each bills,” says Wilson.
Sheriff Wilson says it’s uncommon to hear of evidence disappearing, and it’s unfortunate, because that evidence could determine whether or not someone is guilty.
“Evidence is evidence, and if that evidence is missing when you go to trial, it sure doesn’t look good.”
Sheriff Wilson says if an officer was caught stealing from the evidence room, their credibility would be dissolved and they would likely lose their job.