Parma Heights officer indicted after drugs missing from evidence room

Parma Heights officer indicted after drugs missing from evidence room
Matthew Bell (Source: Parma Heights Police Department)
Matthew Bell (Source: Parma Heights Police Department)

PARMA HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - A Parma Heights police officer has just been indicted, accused of stealing drugs from the evidence room.

Back in March, 19 Action News investigative reporter Scott Taylor broke that Parma Heights police officer, Matthew Bell, was placed on leave after drugs came up missing in the evidence room. He resigned a short time later from the police department.

Bell joined the department in 2007. He was then named manager of the evidence room. In 2013, he was promoted to detective.

However, three months later, detectives noticed something odd in the evidence room.

"We had a large number of prescription drugs that came up missing from the evidence room, including Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin and an ADHD medication," said Sgt. Steve Scharschmidt.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Matthew Bell has been charged by information, a procedure which usually indicates that a guilty plea is expected.

Bell is now facing three theft charges and a charge of theft in office. He is set to be arraigned on Aug. 7.

Read the official court documents here.

During the period of theft, the evidence room had no security cameras at all.

"We have moved forward. It's disappointing, frustrating, but we are prepared to move forward to the victims we service and the other agencies we work with, and overcome this knock on our reputation," added Scharschmidt.

Bell had no comment when we contacted him.

We've been following this story from the beginning. Stay with 19 Action News for more on this developing story.

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