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Investigation Into Thefts From HPD Property Room

April 25, 2007 - Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt announced today (Apr. 25) that two supervisors over the Property and Supply Division have been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation launched into the thefts of 21 guns from the police property room.

The employees, R.N. Cobb and A.G. Baquet, were notified today and have been replaced by two veteran police officers, Acting Captain V.G. Rodriguez and Lieutenant A.H. Kivela.

Two of the 21 weapons have been recovered in separate arrests of two suspects found with the guns in their possessions. Those suspects, one arrested in February and the other in March 2007, are not believed responsible for the thefts at the property room but are being investigated in an effort to determine how they obtained the weapons. One suspect was arrested during a traffic stop and the other on narcotics offenses.

There are more than 18,000 guns stored in the HPD property room.

“I want to assure the citizens of Houston we will do everything in our power to find the culprit or culprits,” said Chief Hurtt. “And we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The first indication a weapon was missing was October 26, 2006, when it was found that a 9mm semiautomatic pistol being prepared for a gun destruction was missing. At the time, it was believed the missing gun was possibly attributed to a clerical error and simply misplaced. In November 2006, the Inspections Division was ordered to do a random sampling of weapons in the property room. It was during that inspection, completed in January 2007, that a second 9mm semiautomatic pistol was found missing. At that time, a full audit was ordered and the results determined a total of 21 guns were missing and deemed stolen from the facility.

The HPD Internal Affairs Division is investigating the disappearance of the weapons and will report its findings to Chief Hurtt.

JFC/NDW/NJM 4-25-07

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.