Missing police evidence identified as diamond ring

Michael McCarthy entered a guilty plea.

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) – The piece of jewelry allegedly taken from an evidence locker by a veteran Providence police officer has been identified as a diamond ring worth just shy of $5,200 in a court document that states the crime was committed about three months ago.

Michael McCarthy, 61, was suspended last week without pay and arraigned on one count of fraudulent conversion. The criminal complaint listed the offense date as June 30, 2014, and stated the diamond ring is worth $5,188.99.

According to Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements, police realized the jewelry was missing at the end of September when the department was in the process of returning the ring to its owner. Clements said the ring was originally stolen “quite some time ago.”

Clements said the jewelry has not been recovered since it was last seen in the evidence locker and he said a search warrant was executed at McCarthy’s home.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said an audit of thousands of pieces of evidence is about halfway completed, and will determine if anything else is missing. Pare estimated the audit may not be wrapped up until next week. Both Pare and Clements said they suspect more items are missing, and that McCarthy could face additional charges.

Clements said McCarthy was one of two officers with keys to the locker where the diamond ring was stored along with other jewelry and cash. The 36-year veteran worked in the department’s evidence unit for about 10 years according to Clements, who said investigators are going back as far as possible to determine if anything else is missing or if anyone else is involved.

McCarthy is due back in court in December. A door knock by Target 12 at McCarthy’s home went unanswered.

Wallt Buteau ( wbuteau@wpri.com ) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter: @wbuteau

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