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OIG report alleges two former city workers conspired to steal thousands in equipment

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 13:22:00-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City's Inspector General (OIG) released a report on Wednesday, finding that two former city workers conspired to steal thousands of dollars worth of city owned machinery and equipment.

A report was first filed on March 23, 2019, when a Bobcat skid-steer loader and grappler was stolen from the Department of General Services (DGS) lot on Pulaski Highway.

Surveillance video showed the $33.5 thousand Bobcat being driven off the lot, with a vehicle following behind.

A check of the vehicle license plate revealed that a Department of Transportation (DOT) employee was the owner.

Police used a GPS device which tracked the stolen Bobcat to a storage unit on Beryl Avenue. Officers recovered the machine but it was missing the bucket, which is valued at $3,600 alone.

The renter of the storage unit told police he bought the Bobcat for $6,000 from another person who happened to be a target of the theft investigation. According to the OIG, the man thought the seller got the equipment from a city auction.

Police got the phone number of the seller, and matched it with the second person under investigation. Investigators then matched a recent photo of the suspect with surveillance footage of the man seen driving off the city lot and determined they were the same person.

It was later found that the suspect had previously worked for DGS and then DOT. He was terminated on May 29, following the investigation.

Nearly two months later on July 13, a Toro riding lawnmower worth nearly $1,300.00 was stolen from the same lot.

An investigation found the very two same men were responsible.

The DOT employee drove the second suspect to the lot in a city work truck where the two allegedly worked together to remove the mower.

Both men have been charged with the thefts, which are currently in the hands of the Baltimore City State's Attorneys Office.

The first suspect was also fired from the city. Neither has been publicly identified.

In response to the OIG report, the city says they've made improvements to better secure and manage the transfer of assets and equipment to and from vendors and contractors.