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Thursday, December 26, 2013

TFoTM Archive: Theft From a Police Department Safe? An Inside Job?

The theft of money from a police department safe can't happen, can it?  If the safe is guarded by police department personnel, and money goes missing, could it be an "inside job?"

Like every other town, Westfield is supposed to keep records of money seized from people arrested and money found.  After a period of time, a department advertises that the money has been unclaimed.

Back in 2009, Westfield Police Captain David Wayman authorized the audit of property held by the Westfield Police Department, specifically money seized in arrests and money turned in as found money.  The list dated back to 1997.  Westfield Police Lt. James Schneider was originally in charge of the audit.

Lt. Schneider is alleged to have found variatons between the stated amount of each envelope or means used to inventory the cash, and the actual contents of each.  It was suggested that the Union County Prosecutor's office be notified.

Lt. Schneider was removed from the audit and quickly succeeded by Detective Joe Costanzo who is known to be a protege' of Captain Wayman.

Records of how much money was in each envelope are required to be maintained.  These are like money used for drug informants and drug buys.  Every dollar must be accounted for and consistent with the ledgers kept by the County Prosecutor along with the numbers assigned to the informant and the investigation.

It would be interesting to follow up on the completeness of the audit and the proper reporting of the drug money to the Prosecutor's Office.

To be continued.......

TFoTM asks the following questions:
1.  Why did Captain Wayman remove Lt. Schneider from the audit and replace him with someone else?
2.  Did Lt. Schneider recommend calling the Union County Prosecutor's office after a discrepancy was found?
3.  If Lt. Schneider recommended calling the UCPO, did Captain Wayman make the call and advise the UCPO of the discrepancy in the audit?
4.  Was anyone ever charged with a theft from the Westfield Police Department detective bureau safe if money was stolen?
5.  Was the Public Notice filed with the Westfield Leader by the Town of Westfield Police Department done in an attempt to cover up the discrepancy of missing amounts of money?

The Westfield Police Department's Public Notice can be found at the following link on page 16 of the original October 15, 2009 issue of the Westfield Leader.  If you access the newspaper online at the web link provided, scroll down to see the Public Notice on the bottom left of page 19.


  1. How much money is missing? Seems to be too many unanswered questions? Who is in charge of property? Did anyone notify the three wise men? Who is running the asylum?

  2. What a joke....Schneider couldnt find a fart in a phone booth, or a giraffe in a heard of elephants....and for Joey....he is a Wayman butt boy and would do whatever Dave says........."hey Joe taking the mobile command center on a road trip need beer money".........

  3. Maybe the mice ate it.....

  4. John Rowe, Pat Gray, Jim McCullough are Chief Tracy's minions that surely know where that cash was spent.
    Cough cough bar cough cough