Oklahoma City police sergeant charged with embezzlement

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City police sergeant is now charged with two felony counts of embezzlement and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement.

He’s accused of taking stolen laptops, which were recovered during an investigation, home.

The laptops were all reported stolen in unrelated cases during the 2008-2010 time frame.

Charges were filed against Sergeant Steven Vassar Wednesday.

According to court documents, he’s accused of using the laptops for personal use - storing pictures and documents, browsing the internet and watching movies.

“They were kept at his home for what we believe was personal use,” said Oklahoma City Police Captain Paco Balderrama.

Court documents show police believe Vassar recovered the laptops “in the course of his duties.”

Court records show the investigation started in November 2015 after Vassar had asked his estranged wife to give him the computers.

Court records show he told her they belonged to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

According to court records, his estranged wife contacted Vassar’s supervisor to surrender the laptops to the police department.

“When we went to recover them, we put two and two together and discovered these were not police issued laptops,” Balderrama said.

In fact, they found the computers were connected to three unrelated cases from several years ago.

“It is protocol that any time stolen items are recovered by a police officer that is documented in the report, and the property is typically booked into the property room for recovery purposed. That was not done," Balderrama said.

According to court documents, Vassar never filed any reports documenting the recovery of the computers.

Instead, investigators believe Vassar took them home.

The laptops are valued at a total of $3,100.

Vassar is a 26 year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

NewsChannel 4 reached out to him and to his attorney for comment but, so far, they have not responded to the allegations.

Police officials said this is the first time Vassar has been accused of wrongdoing.

“He has a very clean record, had a good reputation with this department,” Balderrama said.

Vassar is still on administrative leave.

His status won't change until this case is completed.


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