Orange County Sheriff's Department Reports Over $2 Million Worth of Missing Equipment

Orange County, California - The Orange County Sheriffs’ Department has reported the unaccounted loss of equipment valued at over $2 million, according to a recent report submitted to the OC Board of Supervisors.

Although none of the missing equipment comprises weapons or the department’s military-grade inventory, the report lacks an explanation for the disappearance of approximately 2% of the department’s total equipment inventory.

The most common among the missing items are a set of Getac Laptops, specialized reinforced laptops valued at around $6,000 each, with over three dozen of them listed as missing. This accumulation alone accounts for nearly $200,000 in lost laptops from the sheriff’s inventory.

Efforts to seek comments from sheriff officials through email and phone have been met with silence.

Curiously, during their public Tuesday meeting, none of the OC Board of Supervisors raised questions regarding the issue.

All the equipment was marked as missing in the department’s inventory as of March 2022, as indicated in a letter from OC Sheriff Don Barnes to the county’s auditor. In this letter, Barnes requested the removal of the items from the department’s list of assets.

"As required, every attempt was made to locate the missing items on the exception list. We have checked and rechecked all physical locations within our department several times with no success in locating the missing items,” Barnes stated in his letter.

The timeline of when the missing equipment vanished remains unclear, as the disclosures only provide the purchase dates.

To address the issue and prevent future incidents of missing, stolen, or destroyed equipment, Barnes added, "To prevent future recurrence of missing, stolen, dismantled/destroyed equipment, staff have been retrained to ensure that all assets are documented and reported on the day changes occur.”

The most commonly missing items were laptops, surveillance equipment, and various pieces of technology used in the field by the department. Notably, no weapons were reported missing.

The extent of the losses or destruction of equipment also remains uncertain. In Barnes' letter to county supervisors, he claimed that the department only suffered losses amounting to approximately $1.6 million worth of equipment. However, the official list presented by the auditor controller’s office listed over $2.1 million in assets as "missing."

The department also noted other equipment that was either destroyed, stolen, or sold off, with a total worth exceeding $700,000. This included a camera purchased in 2019, designed for aircraft attachment, valued at $372,000, which was marked as destroyed.