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Montgomery County police evidence technician faces theft charge

A Montgomery County police evidence technician is accused of stealing at least $28,000 in cash from a police safe and trying to cover his tracks with phony computer entries and late-night shuffles of money around the safe, according to arrest records filed against Suk “Brian” Ryong Yun.

Yun, a civilian employee at the department for a little more than a year, was placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues, police officials said Tuesday.

“It’s always disappointing when we have to do a criminal investigation on a department employee,” Montgomery Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said. “I’m glad this was caught by a routine audit before it got worse.”

Reached Tuesday evening, Yun, 38, of Rockville, said he was in the process of hiring a lawyer and declined to comment.

Arrest records in the case, filed in Montgomery District Court, paint a picture of Yun trying to cover his tracks during and after the audit.

According to those records, signed by Montgomery Police Officer Bruce Cole, the department’s Policy and Planning Division notified the evidence manager of a pending audit. On Sept. 26, the manager indicated to his staff, including Yun, that an audit was approaching.

Two days later, Cole and Officer Maryann Magnelli went to the evidence unit, in Gaithersburg, and asked Yun for a printed inventory of cash exhibits in the safe, according to court papers.(Police routinely seize cash during drug and robbery investigations.)

But the two officers, joined by Yun, couldn’t find bags of cash that should have been there, court papers say.The officers told the evidence manager.

“Yun then offered to stay behind on his own, despite offers to assist him, and attempt to locate the missing evidence bags with currency in other locations” of the evidence unit, according to the papers. That evening, he sent an e-mail saying he had found the missing items and placed them back into the safe, the arrest records state.

That led to a more in-depth audit, including electronic inventory transactions.

In all, according to the arrest documents, Yun was charged with stealing $28,630.32.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.


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