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Published: Saturday, 5/17/2008

Toledo officer must pay $10,000 for weapons, other items stolen from car

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A veteran Toledo police officer accused of driving an unmarked police vehicle home without authorization will have to pay the city nearly $10,000 to cover the cost of a sniper rifle and other property that was stolen from the vehicle while it was in his possession, according to a city official.

Officer Robert Barboza, who in April was charged administratively by the department's internal affairs unit, also will be suspended without pay for 30 days. Fifteen of those days will be suspended, said Robert Reinbolt, the city's safety director, who yesterday approved the discipline.

Chief Mike Navarre said he is unsure when the suspension will take effect. That decision is made by the individual's commanding officer, he said.

Officer Barboza, a former member of the directed patrol unit who was appointed to the department in 1979, pleaded guilty during a hearing April 29 to one charge of gross neglect of duty and maintaining proper care of weapons, Deputy Chief Don Kenney said.

Officer Barboza parked the car in the driveway of his West Toledo home about 3:30 p.m. March 17.

Chief Navarre said the officer did not have authorization to take home the vehicle that belongs to the Fugitive Task Force.

Officer Barboza returned home about 10 p.m. and reported seeing no damage to the vehicle.

He went to sleep at midnight and didn't hear any noise, police said.

He awoke about 7:30 a.m. the next day, went out to the car, and noticed that its rear passenger window had been smashed out.

A police-issued camouflaged sniper rifle, about 15 rounds of 308-caliber ammunition, a police radio and charger, and the officer's gym bag were stolen from the vehicle, a report said.

The property has not been found, Chief Navarre said.

The officer was ordered to use the vehicle only while on duty and to park it on city property at the end of his shift.



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