PoliceOne Staff Report (BALTIMORE) -- The city’s mayor believes that corrupt police officers may have broken into an office at police headquarters to steal secret documents in order to thwart corruption investigations, according to published reports.
Mayor Martin O’Malley told reporters that detectives probing the December burglary of an Internal Affairs office at police headquarters believe that fellow officers are involved.
"One of the toughest sorts of crimes to police are crimes committed by people who are perpetrators and wearing police uniforms," The Baltimore Sun quoted O’Malley as saying during a press conference.
The strange case began when bags filled with the confidential police documents, including mug shots, video tapes, names and address and even Internal Affairs files, were found in the trash behind a Dunkin’ Donuts store on Dec. 24.
The documents were taken in a burglary from the police department’s Internal Affairs office.
The man who found the documents, Jim Isbell, told the newspaper that he found the folders and files -- and even a officer’s Rolodex -- in the trash.
He said when he called police about his find, county officers responded and took him to an FBI field office for questioning.
A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department did not return telephone calls for comment on the case.
But the Baltimore Sun reported that six “sensitive files detailing police corruption ” were stolen or rifled through in the burglary.
When the mayor was asked how convinced he was that the burglary was an inside job, O’Malley responded: "I don't know enough about the facts to make that conclusion, but ...they are looking at that as a real possibility," the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the local FBI office told the newspaper it was involved in the investigation, but refused to provide details.