View Full Version : Former police explorer charged with theft of police equipmen

11-18-2011, 06:39 PM
Former police explorer charged with theft of police equipment

From BaltimoreSun.com

A former member of a police program for youths has been charged with stealing equipment from Baltimore city and county police, and officials said they are looking into whether he may be connected to some of the recent police impersonator robberies reported in the area.

Walter Oliver, 18, of Parkville, had been a member of the Police Explorers program in Baltimore County and Baltimore City. He was dismissed from the Towson precinct's program in 2010 for failing to follow rules, then joined the city's Southeast District program. He was dismissed from the city program about a month ago, officials said.

A city officer recently observed Oliver with a police radio, and Oliver explained that an officer had lent it to him, according to police. But officials realized that there had been a recent break-in of a Southeast District officer's locker, and obtained a search warrant for Oliver's home.

Inside, county and city police say they found numerous items including an $1,100 bulletproof vest, holsters, strobe lights, handcuffs, uniform shirts, patches and other items, according to city and county police officials. He's been charged in the city and Baltimore County with multiple counts of theft, as well as malicious destruction of property for the break-in, and was released on his own recognizance. But police say they are concerned about why Oliver had collected all of the items.

"There's a concern for police impersonation," said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the city police. "We're dealing with multiple incidents of impersonation and home invasions, and it's a pretty serious offense. It preys on the trust that police have in the community."

Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County police, said the alleged thefts are not indicative of the Explorers program as a whole. Though Explorers are volunteers, they have to pass a background check and maintain a minimum grade point average.

"This kind of experience is extremely rare," she said. "We like this program because it's a recruitment tool for us, a way for young people with an interest in law enforcement to cultivate that interest."

A phone message left at Oliver's home was not immediately returned.