Ex-officer charged in thefts Money missing at 2 youth clubs HARFORD COUNTY

May 27, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

A 12-year veteran police officer who left the Bel Air force in April has been charged with stealing more than $6,000 between November and April from two youth groups for which he served as an adviser.

Terry L. Ford, 37, surrendered to town police Tuesday, a week after a Harford grand jury indicted him, and he was freed that night on $6,000 bond.

Mr. Ford, an officer first class at the time of the alleged thefts, left the force to enter a private security business, police said. During the span when prosecutors say the thefts occurred, Mr. Ford served as an adviser to Bel Air Explorer Post 9010, supported by the Bel Air Police Department, and as the department's liaison to the Bel Air Youth Center.

A routine audit revealed the theft of $4,230 from an Explorer bank account through unauthorized use of an automated teller machine card, police said.

The department's criminal investigation unit learned that Mr. Ford had obtained the card, said Deputy Chief John W. Harkins.

Mr. Harkins would not be more specific about when, where or how many times Mr. Ford allegedly made withdrawals.

Investigators also alleged that Mr. Ford, who was not authorized to handle Bel Air Youth Center money, had stolen $1,837 in dance revenues collected at the youth center. The police would not elaborate.

Investigators also alleged that Mr. Ford misappropriated a $480 payroll check intended for a youth center employee.

Mr. Ford is charged with three counts of theft over $300 and one count of misconduct in office.

His attorney, Frederic J. Hatem Jr., said yesterday that he has advised his client not to discuss the charges.

Mr. Harkins called Mr. Ford's arrest a "sad day" for the Bel Air Police Department. "The only good thing about this is that we cleaned our own house," he said, "and didn't have to have someone from outside the department come in and do the investigation."

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