Money missing from Bothell Police Department safe

BOTHELL — Somebody took money from a safe in the Bothell Police Department evidence room, and the Washington State Patrol now is conducting a criminal investigation.

A police captain discovered an undisclosed amount of money was gone during a routine audit Jan. 20.

That led to separate internal and criminal investigations. Both are ongoing.

“It just makes it cleaner when you have an outside agency come in,” Bothell police Sgt. Ken Seuberlich said. “It’s standard practice.”

The police department’s evidence room coordinator immediately was placed on paid administrative leave in January. He was fired Feb. 17 from the non-commissioned position. The employee had held the job for 24 years and had no previous disciplinary action taken against him.

Seuberlich declined to say how much money was missing. He said that was because the investigation is ongoing.

“I can’t tell you the quantity, but it was enough for us to activate a criminal investigation,” he said.

Seuberlich also had no information about why the money allegedly was taken.

“I can’t really speculate on what caused the employee to do what he did,” he said.

The Washington State Patrol also is not providing specifics.

“We were asked to confirm some irregularities in the handling of evidence,” State Patrol spokeswoman Bob Calkins said. “The investigation is still ongoing so that’s about all I can say.”

The State Patrol will forward its investigation to King County prosecutors for a filing decision, he said.

Bothell police continue to do an item-by-item audit of the evidence room to make sure nothing else was taken. It has informed defense attorneys of the missing money, Seuberlich said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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