By Ed Brock
A Lake City police officer is on leave while his own department and the Clayton County Police Department investigate whether he pawned at least two guns taken from the Lake City evidence room.
Sgt. Steve Ray was the sole custodian of evidence for Lake City's small police department, Lake City Police Chief David Colwell said, and the possibility that Ray may have taken guns that were under his charge came as a surprise.
"I had no idea," Colwell said.
Colwell said Ray is on administrative leave pending the result of an investigation into the matter.
The investigation came about as a result of a report by Pawn Warehouse on Forest Parkway near Forest Park that one of the guns pawned at the store with Ray's name on the pawn ticket had been stolen, Clayton County police Capt. Tim Robinson said.
"So far we have confirmed that at least two guns were pawned that did come from Lake City," Robinson said, adding that there is the possibility that more guns were pawned at the store.
When the county police investigation is completed the results will be sent to Clayton County District Attorney Bob Keller's office. Keller said that they would take the appropriate action at that time, possibly presenting the case to a grand jury for indictment consideration.
Meanwhile, Colwell said that he has closed his department's evidence room until an audit can be completed by an outside agency. The evidence room contains around 25 guns and Colwell said he could not say exactly why the guns that were pawned had been kept in the room.
"It could be any number of reasons why they would end up in our evidence room," Colwell said.