Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Cincinnati cop charged in gun theft

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Cincinnati police officer was charged Monday with stealing guns and ammunition he had been asked to take from a Pleasant Ridge home.

Edsel England, 47, was charged with five felony counts of theft in office. He is accused of taking a revolver, pellet pistol, ammunition, a leather holster and gun-cleaning kits. He was released from jail on his own recognizance.

Because of his arrest, England's police powers were suspended and he is taking crime reports over the telephone.

England went to a house on Edgeview Drive about noon Sunday after a woman called 911 saying she wanted to give the police guns that had belonged to her uncle. Such calls come in routinely, Chief Tom Streicher said. This one, though, came to England's supervisor's attention because a 911 dispatch worker was curious about the type of guns the woman had.

England's supervisor discovered only a shotgun and rifle had been taken to the property room, the chief said. The original call indicated there were more guns. Investigators called the Pleasant Ridge woman, who said she gave the officer four guns. That led to the search of England's house and car, and to his arrest by internal investigators.

An investigation will include looking at past evidence recovered by England, Streicher said. Policy requires officers to log evidence before the end of their shifts.

An officer since 1995, England's personnel file contains one reprimand for missing court - a common notation - and three commendations. Past job evaluations said he was level-headed, hard-working and motivated.


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