Montgomery County Police Employee Accused of Stealing Dozens of Cellphones from Department

Montgomery County Police Employee Accused of Stealing Dozens of Cellphones from Department

Man had access to secure room where phones, computers and body cameras were stored

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Andrew Schotz

An employee of the Montgomery County police allegedly stole and sold 30 cellphones valued at about $23,000 total from the department, according to court records.

The phones were shipped to the department and stored in a secured room that Jacob Golden, 21, an employee of the Information Management and Technology Division, had access to. Over the course of nine months, Golden sold many department-purchased phones to local stores, often making the secondhand sales during work hours, court documents allege.

Officer Rick Goodale, a Montgomery County police spokesman, said Golden worked with the department for about a year. Court records list him as living in Frederick.

Golden’s mother allegedly sold at least eight of the stolen phones, according to the charging documents, but she has not been charged and Goodale said he could not comment on whether she would be. She did not work for the police department.

Golden was suspended without pay from the department, Goodale said.

ABC7 first reported the news of Golden’s alleged thefts.

A Montgomery County police detective began investigating Golden in September when he noticed that his name was listed as the fourth top seller of secondhand property in the area by a law enforcement database, court documents say.

The detective recognized Golden as an employee of the department and confirmed it through the driver’s license number provided in his records as a secondhand seller, police wrote in charging documents. The records indicated Golden sold 80 iPhones and Android phones since December to buyers in Montgomery and Frederick counties.

Of those, police confirmed with Verizon that 30 of the cellphones matched the identification numbers of a batch shipped to and signed for at the police department headquarters at Edison Park Drive in Gaithersburg, according to the documents.

When the phones arrived, they were stored in a “shared secured room” that can only be accessed by information management and technology employees with a keycard, according to the documents. Phones are typically kept there until assigned to employees. Police also store body cameras and computers in the room.

Golden had access to the room, but was “solely responsible for body worn camera devices,” and had no reason to have a phone other than the one issued to him, the document states.

He allegedly sold the phones—each valued from $550 to $650—mainly to a Best Buy and Gamestop in Germantown between December and September, police wrote.

Golden was charged with theft between $10,000 and $100,000. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison or a $15,000 fine.

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