Sheriff's investigators are looking for the thief who took $6,000 from a safe in the watch commander's office at the Malibu sheriff's station. They are also wondering why the perpetrator took only three of the 20 money-filled envelopes that were in the safe, according to station commander Capt. Mark Squiers.
Money seized in drug arrests and bail money, sometimes as much as $200,000, was routinely kept in the safe, Squiers said. Funds are now being transferred out of the office more quickly.
"What you had was a series of envelopes with money in them. The thief only took three. He could have taken 20," Squiers said.
Squiers said the theft was discovered during routine audits. The envelopes could have been taken one at a time or all at once during the three-week period preceding Sept. 6.
All sergeants, lieutenants and watch commanders, more than two dozen people in all, had access to the safe, Squiers said. The theft "bothers the hell out of the personnel at Malibu Station. It bothers everybody because it casts a cloud or shadow (of suspicion)," he said.