VA Cop Charged with Embezzlement for Taking Rifle Bags from Evidence
A Virginia cop who makes $70,695 a year was arrested Wednesday for stealing rifle bags from the evidence room.
Mark Wayne Rowe, 49, was observed by other officers “behaving unusual”, which was brought to a supervisor’s attention who later charged him with misdemeanor embezzlement.
Rowe, whose job was to oversee the property and evidence unit, was charged after police found him in possession and on video on August 9 stealing property that had been marked for destruction.
According to wavy.com, a police source revealed that the 17-year veteran had been taking ammo, holsters, and magazines in the past, but court documents actually lists two black gun bags, one green gun bag and one air soft clip from the green bag in the report about his current arrest.
Property and evidence is usually destroyed after a period of time without anyone claiming it.
Initially, Linda Kuehn Virginia Beach Police’s department spokeswoman said the type of property stolen would not be disclosed.
In Virginia, Misdemeanor embezzlement under $200 carries punishment up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Virginia Beach police said they haven’t asked an outside agency to investigate the matter and are conducting the criminal and internal investigations themselves, according to WTKR.
According to wavy, two sources close to Rowe are were extremely surprised that Rowe would “risk so much” stealing from the evidence room, which is located in the basement of the First Precinct.
A reporter from wavy.com knocked on Rowe’s door to get his side of the story. A woman answered and declined an interview.
“No not at this time; we have nothing to say at this time.Thanks,” she said.
And then closed the door.
The reporter had planned to ask Rowe if he knew the evidence room was under camera surveillance.
Rowe has been employed by Virginia Beach Police since 1999.
Officer Rowe has been placed on paid leave pending the internal and criminal investigations into the theft.