Property Room Headlines-Dec 2013

Drugs, money, and valuables: Put them in one place and someone will try to find a way to "borrow" a little for themselves. Unfortunately, stories about illegal activity in police departments' property and evidence rooms are all too common. Here's your latest roundup of headlines from across the United States.

La Crosse police lieutenant accused of taking drugs from evidence room enters plea

December 10, 2013 - LA CROSSE, Wis. — A former La Crosse lieutenant accused of stealing drugs from the police evidence room has pleaded guilty to charges.

Brian Thomson, 44, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of narcotic drugs without a prescription and will be banned from owning a firearm or working as a police officer.

The La Crosse Police Department began investigating Thomson in June when his captain learned he was helping log evidence when he was not authorized to do so. The La Crosse Tribune ( ) reported Thomson was arrested and resigned from the force Aug. 13.

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Appellate jurists uphold prison sentence of former sheriff’s evidence room employee

December 7, 2013 - PORT ANGELES, Wash. - A former sheriff’s records specialist’s three-year sentence for stealing $8,644 from the courthouse evidence room has been upheld by the state Court of Appeals.

Staci L. Allison was found guilty of first-degree theft and money laundering after an October 2011 jury trial in Clallam County Superior Court.

The appellate court also upheld a restitution order forcing her to pay $51,905 in total that was missing from the evidence room.

Allison, 43, was sentenced in December 2011 by then-Superior Court Judge Ken Williams for stealing the funds, which consisted of seized evidence between 2003 and 2006.

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Ex-BPD evidence manager amends lawsuit over dismissal

December 12, 2013 - PEORIA, Ill. - The former evidence room manager for the Bloomington Police Department has amended her federal lawsuit against the city, former police officials and two current officers over their alleged conspiracy to fire her after she complained about how evidence was handled.

In her federal action filed in U.S. District Court in Peoria, Amy Ward … alleges that the city violated her free speech rights by retaliating against her when she told her supervisors at BPD and Illinois State Police that she believed policies for access and transfer of evidence were routinely violated. Discipline handed out by McKinley for disobeying orders was linked to the complaints, Ward alleges.

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Lifting Latent Fingerprints from Difficult Surfaces

ALMOST ANYONE can find, process, and lift a latent print that happens to be in a logical and obvious place like a door handle, a beer can, or a butcher knife. But sometimes, a latent print is not just sitting there in a logical and obvious place. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination to find the print and your skills to lift it.