Joe P. Asher
A former Cumberland Police officer faces a theft charge after an investigation conducted by Cumberland Police Sgt. Silas Whitehead led to his arrest. Keith Ray Turner, 22, of Putney, was arrested by the Harlan City Police Department on Thursday.
According to Whitehead, his investigation turned up some equipment missing from the Cumberland Police Department.
“This warrant was taken out on Turner when he was an employee with the Cumberland Police Department,” said Whitehead. “He was issued equipment — a badge, gun, tazer, radio, gun belt — equipment any police officer would need to perform his duties proficiently on the street.”
Whitehead noted that Turner failed to turn in some equipment at the end of his employment.
“He failed to turn in several items,” said Whitehead. “One item being a tazer and another item being a Kenwood handheld radio. Both items are valued at an amount over $2,000 total.”
Whitehead said in the weeks after Turner’s employment ended, some of the missing items began to turn up around Harlan County.
“About three weeks after Turner’s employment ended I recovered the tazer in the Bledsoe area of Harlan County from a relative of Turner who stated Turner sold him the tazer for $50,” said Whitehead. “Today in a joint operation with the Harlan Police Department, we recovered the Kenwood police radio belonging to the Cumberland Police Department from the Lawnvale area of Harlan County with the statement given that Turner sold him the radio for $150.”
Whitehead said the other missing items were not found at that residence.
Turner was charged with theft by unlawful taking and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $10,000 full cash bond.
“If anyone has any information of Turner selling any type of police department items such as bullet proof vest, gloves, road flares, handcuffs or gun belts they need to contact me at the Cumberland Police Department at 606-589-2314 or they can email me at email@example.com. Any tips can be anonymous and all leads will be followed up,” said Whitehead.
Harlan City Police Corporal Jeff Owens and Officer Will Pope assisted.
In other police activity, Kentucky State Police Trooper Danny Caudil arrested Jeffery Harris, 27, of Putney, Wednesday on charges of first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under, first-degree sodomy, and first-degree sexual abuse.
According to the indictment, on or about June 16, Harris “subjected a minor to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.”
Harris was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $10,000 full cash bond.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org