Tempe Cop Accused of Stealing Evidence Pleads Not Guilty -- Despite Already Telling Cops He Stole Evidence
Court officials tell New Times that a Tempe cop accused of stealing evidence from one of the department's evidence rooms has pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and evidence tampering.
In total, Officer Elliot Campbell's charged with two counts of theft of a credit card, 10 counts of tampering with evidence, and one count each of forgery, burglary, and theft for allegedly stealing loads of valuable evidence.
Campbell, an 11-year veteran, was arrested in May after an investigation revealed he looted the department's evidence room and used the items he stole -- including several gift cards to various retail stores -- for a little home improvement.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors Office began investigating Campbell in April regarding his performing contract work without a contractor's license.
The investigation revealed that Campbell was driving on a suspended license. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which ultimately found he'd been stealing evidence.
During the course of their investigation, authorities searched Campbell's squad car and found envelopes checked out of the department's evidence room in March 2008. Additionally, detectives found that Campbell also had checked out a refrigerator, a clothes washer, a watch, and some tools from the evidence room. He told employees in the evidence room he was planning to return the items to their owners, which is why he was allowed to take them.
It was later determined that the gift cards Campbell had checked out were used at Costco and Target stores near the officer's home. A search of his house turned up the watch and the refrigerator. The washing machine, Campbell later told police, was given to a friend.
Campbell's next court appearance is scheduled for August 10.